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Your Personal Bill of Rights

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Denison chapter.

Recently, I went to counseling. Once upon a time I think I would have been afraid to admit that, but I’m not so scared anymore. I honestly got a lot from that one session, and just went in with the intention of talking to someone I had never met before, and allowing myself to be vulnerable.

One of the major reasons why I chose to make an appointment was because I was severely stressed. Not the stressed that you get when you know you’re going to be 5 minutes late to that 8:30 class or the type of stressed you get when you remember that the top you wanted to wear out tonight is still sitting in the dirty hamper from last weekend (although completely valid).

This type of stress was one that had been building up for such a long time. It’s the type of stress that assignments, being overinvolved, work, and being in a toxic relationship can all induce. It’s the type of stress that you don’t really talk about because you’re trying to stay positive and hoping that everything will work itself out.

After talking about all of this with the counselor, she gave me one thing in particular that she thought I might benefit from. It was a piece of paper with “Personal Bill of Rights” printed on the top. Below that there was a list of 25 statements that this personal bill of rights had.

Some of the things on that list really resonated with me like “I have the right to say no to requests or demands I cannot meet” and “I have the right not to be responsible for others’ behaviors, actions, feelings, or problems.” Although readings these things at first seem like no-brainers, I think we sometimes forget about them in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. Sometimes we feel like we have to say yes to everything so that we don’t let somebody down. But what about when those things start to mess with our happiness or become toxic environments? Other times we personalize things someone says or does to be a direct effect of something we said or did, but fail to acknowledge that what someone does or says sometimes is just based on them and not us. All of this contributes to that type of stressed I was talking about, and it becomes so much harder to get ourselves out of that hole we’ve dug when we keep on trying to make room for things we put before our own happiness.

So, go through the list again. See if anything resonates with you, or come up with your own statements to add. Paste your personal bill of rights somewhere you get to see everyday, as cheesy as this may seem, and empower yourself by letting go of distorted beliefs.


Hi everybody! I'm Susana. Originally from the Windy City, I now find myself in the middle of Ohio at Denison! I love putting a creative spin to anything I do, and have always been drawn to the Arts and Writing because through them, I can express myself in so many different ways. I'm also a member of Delta Gamma, and absolutely love coffee. If you have any questions, you can reach me at meza_s1@denison.edu