How to support yourself


Emmeline Roney

World traveler Emmeline Roney ’19 gives her monthly insight into both the joys and frustrations of life at East Grand Rapids High School.

Emmeline Roney, Opinion Editor

I believe that all of us live in a state of co-dependence; we rely heavily on our parents, friends, or significant other so much that their beliefs and ideas begin to get muddled with our own. As young adults, we need to develop the skills necessary to grasp our own lives. Our perception of reality, thoughts, feelings, creative process, and memories must be distinctly our own.

I am especially talking to my girls: we must have a goal to achieve independence. We must be the people undertaking responsibilities with grace, free from reliance on another person. We need to support other women around us and share these same goals of independence. This means not viewing other women as competition, but instead treating them like teammates.

But the idea of independence is a difficult one – regardless of your gender. We must all be confident in our own skin, and know what our strengths and weaknesses are. In brief, independence is directly correlated to self-love. Challenge yourself. Question your assumptions. Become more assertive and start to make decisions alone. Become self-motivated; break your bad habits of procrastination and put yourself on a road that leads straight to success. Set goals and achieve them not because you think you’re supposed to, but because you want to.

We must also learn how to calm ourselves down or self-soothe. Becoming emotionally independent is arguably the most difficult aspect to grasp. However, I have found that if you have some activity that you can do alone, you will likely find a sense of freedom and relief as you take care of your trials independently. Lately, I have found that photography calms my nerves and helps ground me. So go out and find something that you are passionate about. Remember, passions should ultimately drive professions. Confidence and trust in your set of unique skills will help you understand who you are and how you can support yourself, independent from other sources.

Being independent is a vital skill in life; we all need to take control of our lives and feel comfortable enough to strive towards difficult life ambitions. In this way, we will be able to learn about our creative process and get used to living life alone.