I have been a people pleaser for as long as I can remember. I’ve always put others before myself and while I initially thought it was one of my best qualities, I have come to realize that it’s been pretty self destructive.

I have allowed myself to put up with so much more than I should and basically made myself a doormat for people to use and to walk all over. I sacrificed my time and energy for people who couldn’t care less what I’m doing after they’ve been helped. I have put my dreams on hold for people who only come around at their convenience or when they need something and know nobody else will play their games again.

2022 quickly made me realize that wasn’t an option anymore and that I am worth so much more than I ever thought. This year is my year. And while that sounds insanely cheesy and cliche, it’s true.

This is the year I am putting myself first no matter what it takes and I refuse to let anyone get in the way of that.

I have found my voice and slowly but surely I’m starting to use it. I’m learning to stand my ground and not be a pushover.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m still a caring, selfless person and I probably always will be, however I am learning to establish boundaries for myself and that is something I will never apologize for.

This is a lesson I hope everyone has learned or will learn at some point in their lives.

You can’t continue to sacrifice yourself for the sake and convenience of others. If you aren’t taking care of yourself there’s no way you can take care of anybody else.

Working in healthcare can make this extremely difficult. We are supposed to be there to help others and do the most good for the most people. If I’m not able to recognize the need for and establish solid boundaries for myself, I could be compromising my patient’s safety.

While the road to learning this has been anything but easy, it has also been my most valuable lesson thus far. I have finally learned to value myself and have grown so much more confident in myself and where I’m going in life and I couldn’t be more proud and thankful for that.

Laci Sutton is a Nickerson senior studying nursing.

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