Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wilfrid Laurier chapter.

I have always been the kind of person that says sorry a lot, even for things that don’t necessarily require an apology. I apologize for the most ridiculous things such as just taking up space in a room. Ridiculous right? I think so too, and yet it’s a habit that has proven to be much more difficult to break than I thought it would be. I am also very focused on other people and what they are doing. I look out for others before myself much more than I should. Growing up I was under the impression that if you are not polite and selfless in this way, then surely you must be selfish. I am not saying that being polite and kind are not good traits to have, however, there comes a point where being selfish is necessary.

I always associated being “selfish” with negative connotations. I suppose this is linked to the fact that society teaches us that being selfish is a bad thing, and therefore, selfish people only care about themselves. Growing up, I was also taught that selfish people are egocentric, arrogant and inconsiderate of anyone but themselves. Obviously, these words do not bring positive things to mind, hence my negative associations with the word “selfish.” But recently I have begun changing my mindset on the idea of what it means to be selfish. After looking at what it means to be “selfish” a little closer, there are a couple of occasions where I think that it is more than appropriate to be a little bit selfish. These instances are as follows.

Being selfish with your happiness

Sacrificing your happiness for another’s is understandable for certain circumstances, however, if you continue to do this then you end up losing more than you are gaining. One area where being selfish should be welcomed and accepted is when it comes to your happiness. You should never feel bad about making decisions that will increase your own happiness. Once you begin to focus on yourself, you will see your happiness skyrocket. Being selfish doesn’t have to mean that you’re self-absorbed, but it might mean that you know when you need to focus on yourself in order to increase your own contentment.

Being selfish with your time

There is nothing wrong with taking time to work on your well-being and priorities. Time is as valuable, if not more valuable, than any material thing you own and you wouldn’t give your things away to people without giving it some consideration. So, why would you give your time away so easily to others, especially when they don’t always deserve it? Time is something we need to use wisely; once you waste your time on something, no matter how much you regret it, you can never get that time back. Being selfish with your time is the best way to ensure that you live the best life you can with the time you’re given.

Being selfish for your own success

If you plan on achieving your goals and dreams, then you are going to have to be a little bit selfish. If you are ever going to reach your objectives then you have to put yourself first and stay focused on your own path, rather than helping everyone else out with theirs. People place endless amounts of effort and time into making their hopes and dreams become a reality for them, but this dream is only achievable if focus is placed on it. The people that achieve their goals don’t do so by focusing on the aspirations of other people. You are the only person that can make your dreams come true. With this being the case, why would you not make your aspirations your priority? It is likely the only way you will ever fully achieve them.

I still believe that being a kind-hearted person who cares for others is a good trait to have, but I have realized that in some instances it may not be the worst thing in the world to be a little bit selfish. You can’t begin to truly help others until you have taken care of your own needs and in order to do that, you might have to be a little bit selfish. Take some time for yourself, if you don’t start doing that now then when will you? There is no better time than the present.

Rachael Stevens

Wilfrid Laurier '21

Rachael is a fourth-year English major at Laurier, with a double minor in German and psychology.
Chelsea Bradley

Wilfrid Laurier '21

Chelsea finished her undergrad with a double major in Biology and Psychology and a minor in Criminology. She loves dogs way too much and has an unhealthy obsession with notebooks and sushi. You can find her quoting memes and listening to throwbacks in her spare - okay basically all - her time. She joined Her Campus in the Fall of 2019 as an editor, acted as one of two senior editors for the Winter 2020 semester and worked alongside Rebecca as one of the Campus Correspondents for the 2020-2021 year!