NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Don’t let anyone bring you down

It seems like it doesn’t matter how hard you study or how many hours you work; someone will always think it wasn’t enough.

With constant evaluations of status and accomplishments, it’s hard to believe that we can even focus on schoolwork.

Why do we spend so much time trying to please others and whom are we trying to measure up to?

Although today’s college students are less influenced by what they see on television or social media, many of them are still struggling to achieve the idea of “beauty” that has been brainwashing the masses since Mattel’s Barbie was introduced in 1959.

No use trying to achieve Barbie’s measurements. When converted to human size, you would have to wear a neck brace and there would only be enough room within the 16” waist for a portion of your vital organs.

Even if you are lucky enough to be comfortable in your own body and are blessed with the self esteem to strut your human sized body to class, there is no shortage of predators waiting to pounce all over your confidence.

Upon entering NECC as a 39 year old freshman, I didn’t know what to expect or if I, “Queen of the Bimbos” according to my brother, was even capable of getting a college degree.

Well, here I am: just six credits away from graduation, and feeling so proud of myself, only to have a family member say to me “It’s too bad you couldn’t transfer to Merrimack College on the last day of school, so you could have the name of a fancier school on your Diploma.”

Talk about a confidence killer! I guess some people don’t see community college as an acceptable level of accomplishment and choose not to celebrate what they consider to be mediocrity. What, fat shaming isn’t enough? Now we have to be subjected to college shaming.

If homework wasn’t enough to keep them busy, most NECC students hold jobs as well as keeping a full course load. Furthermore, many students are full-time parents who must endure their toughest critics, their children who will most likely grow up and tell them that they failed at parenting.

Speaking of parents, how many of us have heard our parents ask, “Where did I go wrong?” Parents seem to have a great talent for making themselves out to be the victim of our life choices. As if we live our lives for the sole purpose of embarrassing and torturing them.

Some of us have families with impossible standards for us to try to live up to and it is sometimes unfortunate that we cannot choose our families the way we can choose our significant other. However, we can control the time (if any) we spend in their environment.

Well, it’s time we stop this soul-crushing cycle of trying to achieve the goals that others have set for us.

The truth is no matter how hard you try, there will always be someone who thinks that you need to work harder, make more money or look prettier. There will always be people who don’t approve of your lifestyle, the car you drive or the article that you wrote.

Having the power to rise above the negativity will strengthen your tolerance for the future naysayers that you are bound to meet.

It doesn’t matter what you look like, whom you choose to love, which college you attend or what your major is.

We all have a purpose on this planet, whether it is to be a teacher, a nurse, an artist or a professional critic. We are all important.

Although it can be nice to get kudos from another person, setting and achieving your own personal goals will give you all the confidence and validation you need.