Our college years are full of dramatic “I’m not a grown up!” moments- mostly unexpected, and typically unwanted. Anonymous Valley writers discuss it all, from avoiding basic responsibilities to dealing with the big, bad future. Let’s talk about it.
Considering myself a mature young woman, I recently decided it was time to start investing. Financiers say that the first step in the financial decision making process is to evaluate your worth. Following this advice, I began to piece together my possessions— mainly made up of clothing and accessories.
As I added to the growing list of cashmere sweater blends and angora scarves, I started to feel good about my future. Thanks in part to my designer label addiction; I was able to estimate a short-term, livable allowance off of my closet. But, what’s a girl to do when her money runs out? How then, do we know what we’re worth?
As a type A perfectionist, I’m the first to admit that I place an unhealthy amount of value on achievements. Losing that extra five pounds, acing a tough exam or landing a coveted interview gives me a high I just can’t explain. So, when I was recently asked to “define myself” for a class assignment, I was quick to start listing off my resume. It wasn’t long before my partner stopped me with a puzzled look on her face. She clearly wanted something more.
“That’s all great,” she replied when I was done, “but who are you?”
In an attempt to solve her confusion, I listed, for the second time, my countless number of accomplishments and accolades. Stubborn as ever, I refused to give her the answer I knew she was looking for: who am I without what I’d been able to fit on a single page?
I’m afraid I was scared to know the truth. When we take away the clothes, the internships or the grades, what are we really worth? And how do we know if that’s worth it? At a time in our lives where investments are key, would anyone invest in me?
In an attempt to take this assignment seriously I began to recalculate my net worth—this time, based off my personal qualities. Traits like passion, creativity and loyalty lead the way towards exposing the other parts of myself I’d forgotten. I’m a supportive friend, a proud daughter and a faithful companion. No matter what I can or can’t continue to achieve, these things will never change. This, I realized, is my worth.
When we take away the labels, we’re able to see ourselves with a newfound sense of clarity. Rediscovery is what really allows us to see what makes a good investment, and what better a return is that?
Photo by Shidika Goode