What Makes Life Worth Living? (Other Than School, That Is)

School, stress, quarantine. In the midst of uncertainty and adapting to online school, what makes life worth living for Stuyvesant students?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

As the pressures of school and quarantine weigh down on us, Stuyvesant students take a moment to reflect on who or what keeps us motivated to live. Whether it is friends and family or that new Netflix show, what makes life worth living?

“It’s the only one we get, [so we] might as well make it memorable. The people you meet, the memories you make, the things you get to see and experience. There’s so much to do in this world, and we won’t be able to do it all in one life, so we[’ve got to] work with what we [have] and just make it work.” —Elie Zheng, sophomore

“There is so much beauty to experience and meaning to create. There are so many people (and pets!) to love and so many ways to be surprised.” —Rosa Mazzurco, English teacher

“Cash. Also, harassing the elderly.” —Ian Graham, junior

“Personally, [I think that] emotions make life worth living. I mean, if you never had the ability to react to anything, you would never have feelings, and if you never had feelings, then happiness would never exist [for you].” —Vicky Liu, junior

“Everything bagel with scallion cream cheese toasted. Oh, and an iced coffee with milk and no sugar. Thank you so much! The random cats and dogs that I encounter on the street. But on a more serious note, my friends and all the little things we do together or for each other. The little moments that seem insignificant but the memory of which can make you smile on even the saddest day. Oh, and Winnie the Pooh.” —Agata Regula, senior

“TV shows and cooking food!” —Samira Esha, junior

“Life doesn't have meaning, so it's up to humans to embrace the absurd and give their own meaning for living from a philosophical existentialist point of view.” —Anika Amin, junior

“Life is worth living because life is beautiful! Live to help others, and make yourself and your parents proud. With each day comes a new accomplishment.” —Samira Esha, junior

“What makes life worth living to me is competence, the idea that you can do something well. That's meaningful to me and a lot of people. My parents used to take me to hiking trails, but at that time, I didn't really see any value in it, so the hiking wasn't really meaningful to me. Now, I’ve learned to gain meaning from trying to be a good hiker/climber, which means I learn to watch my pace, keep up with the group, etc. And so that gives my life more purpose.” —Tony Jia, senior

“I think what makes life worth living are the relationships you make. Whether it be relations with family and friends or with something totally inanimate (books, games, stuffed dolls), there are things that keep us attached and happy in this world. These relationships are what drive us to be motivated and give us purpose since without any relation, there is nothing keeping us attached to this world.” —Nicholas Zhong, senior

“Life is worth living for the people you care about. It could be your friends, your family, whoever is important to you. Your relationship with them is important, and they care about you just as much as you care about them, if not more. You guys have overcome obstacles together, played together, sang together, and most likely even argued with one another. But no matter what it is, you guys have grown together, in ways good and bad that shape you into the person you are today.” —Jet Li, sophomore

“I’d say getting to meet new people and having new experiences. But also keeping in touch [with] people you already know. I guess it’s just about finding your crowd, which is the hard part, but once you get through it, life is a whole lot more worth it.” —Sean Fung, senior

“My sister and friends make life worth living because having strong relationships with people I love makes me happy. Dancing is my favorite activity, and it makes life worth living because I am able to express myself through a creative outlet.” —Riona Anvekar, junior

“Family and friends make my life worth living. Throughout my life, there have been people who have wished for my failure to satisfy their egos. There have been circumstances that have discouraged me from success. However, I learned to not let their actions and words affect me, and I instead listened to the voices of people who care about me. My family and friends have helped shape me into a more confident [version] of myself, and I always know I can turn to them when I feel down.” —Mandy Wong, junior

“Knowing that I can do anything I want if I put my mind and hard work to it. Also my family!” —Michelle Kwon, senior

“Life is worth living because of the people we’re with. I have goals and ambitions like anyone else, whether it’s pursuing a hobby or finding a career, but the reason I’m here is because of the people I care about. Building relationships with family or friends is indescribable, but knowing they’re there for you if you’re having a bad day or need someone to watch a movie with is comforting. Knowing that someone would dedicate their time to me and take the time to make me happy makes life worth living. No matter what impact I have on the world, which will undoubtedly not be much, I have [an] impact on these few people around me, and the same goes for them with me. I would do anything for them, and knowing the feeling is mutual is why life is worth living.” —Tanisha Jinnat, freshman

“For me, it’s all in the small things, like the feeling of waking up and brewing coffee or biking and seeing the sunset. It’s just taking time to smell the roses that makes me happy.” —Alice Xue, sophomore

“I guess one thing that makes life worth living is all the little things you do every day that make someone else happy. For me, making someone else feel happy makes me feel happy.” —Michelle Zhang, sophomore

"Friends—the social interactions that we have in our life are what keep us going when we're struggling by ourselves." —Victoria Yu, senior

“I think what makes life worth living is my friends and family. And also all the passions and the fun things I can do.” —Rachel Lin, junior

“I think what makes life worth living is all the experiences that you have. I really enjoy the small sort of mundane moments that you can look back on in the future.” —Sydney Yang, senior

“Minecraft, donuts, laughing till I can't breathe, and seeking discomfort (shoutout to Yes Theory).” —Jessica Kwok, senior

“To quote The Heidelberg Catechism's first answer to the question, ‘What is your only comfort in life and in death?’ it is simply knowing ‘that I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.’ I recognize that although my family and friends are the ones in my life that I value, it is ultimately the Creator that I serve and worship that makes life truly worth living. It is knowing that because of Christ I may be a sinner and don’t deserve His grace, but He has assured me of eternal life with Him, and that makes me realize how beautiful yet small my life on Earth is. This life is not my own, but with complete and utter humility, I give my future to Him and all my worries about what is yet to come. Life’s weight may seem heavy, but I am left with peace knowing the rest of my life is in the hands of the One who created the depths of the sea to the vast array of stars.” —Sarah Peter, sophomore