By Alyssa Weiss
When I was six years old, I didn’t know much about Eleanor Roosevelt, but I sure knew a lot about The Princess Diaries. It was one of my favorite movies, and I would watch it any time I saw it on TV. And if I’m being totally honest, it still is, and I still do. So, it’s no surprise that I first heard my favorite piece of advice, originally spoken by Eleanor Roosevelt, while watching the movie. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Her words have always stuck with me; even if, in my mind, I hear them in the character Joe’s voice instead of hers.
I’ve often heard people say that you can stop being sad by simply choosing to be happy. Personally, I think that’s ridiculous. You don’t get to decide when you’re going to stop feeling what you’re feeling. What you do get to control, however, is what or who makes you sad. Knowing I have that power, thanks to Eleanor Roosevelt (and Joe), has helped me become the strong, determined person I am today.
In every facet of my life, I decide what I allow to affect me. As a journalist, I don’t let harsh critiques from my editors or readers get to me. Their words don’t get to control my emotions; all they have the power to do is make my next article that much stronger. As a student, I refuse to compare myself to my peers. Sure, someone may have done really cool internships and someone else has a 4.0 GPA, but I don’t let myself feel inferior to them. Odds are, at some point, they may have felt inferior to me or someone just like me. We’re all human.
Nobody has the power to be happy all day, every day. But we do have the power to control what’s going to make us sad. Thanks to Eleanor Roosevelt, and The Princess Diaries, I have lived my life knowing I get to choose what makes me feel inferior, and that’s a powerful feeling.