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Growing up means that you will have many uncomfortable moments as you navigate the world and who you are becoming. We are often told that being young means that we should be accommodating to others and that we should make sure others are comfortable before ourselves. However, although this may seem rude I believe this ideal pushed on the younger generation is undoubtedly flawed. We are taught that we are bad, disrespectful, and rude if we disagree or even fight for our own right to be comfortable. It is as if we are being told to be doormats for older “wiser” people.  Although there is a difference between being disrespectful and standing up for yourself it is of utmost importance to set boundaries. 

[bf_image id="h9nwjxhf4xf7p47rf5bpfhrx"] So what are boundaries? Boundaries are lines you draw between you and other people in your life to ensure that your mental and physical health are kept in good condition. For example, it is not bad to decline an offer to go out or to hang out with friends or family if you feel too exhausted or have something else to do. In all honesty, it may be hard at first. It is hard to tell people you care about “no” and there is also the fear of social ramifications, such as not being invited again for being an outcast. However, it is key to communicate with your friends and family and to do what is best for you. After all, you are the one who is in charge of taking care of yourself and therefore have the right to choose what you think is best for you. 

[bf_image id="hrb4knchmwnm5ph8g8jxm7"] Similarly, this can also be applied to the decisions you make for yourself too. It is important to take well-meaning advice from those around you who care for your wellbeing. That being said, you can choose to let go of the advice that you believe is not good for you or the judgment people may pass on you. You need to put yourself first especially when it comes to your future. After all, you will face the consequences of the decisions to make. Don’t waste your time making decisions to make others happy instead do what you believe is best for YOU.  For example, I love my family but one of the biggest issues we had was on whether I should cut my hair. As an adult, I know that it is my choice and it is something I have wanted for a while plus there are no inherent bad consequences. So I did it, sure my family didn’t really like it but it was up to me. After all, autonomy and making decisions that best fit you and will benefit you is very important. 

[bf_image id="j6mjnxwjwz2xhw54w5vgtq"] Overall, make sure to stick up for yourself and do what will be helpful for you because this is your life after all. Prioritize your mental and physical health and don’t be afraid to do what’s best for you!

 

Paulina Herrera

UC Riverside '22

Paulina Herrera is a junior at UC Riverside studying English. She has spent her time refining her skills as an art director intern for The Naked Magazine and as an intern for The Art Collection, NY. When she is not working on her art or writing you can find her reading copious amounts of comics and books or attending conventions.
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