UWF Student Media
Out of the following, which best represents you most? (Who, what, when, where, why, and how?)

Written by Jerico Magallanes


Whenever I’m with a group of people, I like to ask self-reflection questions. Some are deep, some are just for fun. One that I usually ask isout of the five W’s (who, what, when, where, why, or how), which one do you feel best represents you the most? After people share their answers I share my story of how I used to say why but now I say who.  

That story goes a little something like this…

Back in 2008-2009, I started asking this question whenever I found myself in a group of good company and we were all having a good time. Whenever it was my turn to answer I would say why because during that time I was going through a relapse with anxiety and depression. It was a dark and hard time of my life where I questioned every little thing. I had a negative and pessimistic outlook on life, never had the sense to learn how to accept and how to stay positive. So with all of that going on, I would answer the question with whybecause I always wanted a reason for everything. I was never satisfied until I knew the answer to all of my questions and not finding the answer would fuel my anxiety and depression more and more. 

But recently I started changing my answer to who. Over the period of three or so years, I went through an amazing journey that was “life changing” to say at the least. It was through that journey that I learned so much about myself and about life. I learned that true happiness really comes from within and not from external sources, that not everything in life has a straight forward black or white answer, that life is however we make it. 

Another important and crucial lesson I learned was that who you are is what matters the most. In the end, after everything, who you are is what has the most influence on your life. Knowing and accepting whoyou truly are is what will make you truly happy. When everything else around your falls, fails you, leaves you, all you’ll be left with is yourself. Who you are is what will get you through all the ups and downs in your life. 

Now don’t take this as a pessimistic note, saying that everything around you will be guaranteed to fail you. No, that’s not the point. The point is that instead of relying so much on external sources to get by in life, we should rely the most on ourselves and who we are. Loved ones and such are of course great to have as a part of your life. But to better those relationships, having a better knowledge of one’s self will only better your relationships and communications with others. 

So whenever you feel like all the questions in your life are starting with why, start asking the questions that start with who. You’ll have better clarity when you finally learn that not everything in life has a reason, when you finally learn to accept. One of my favorite sayings that go along this message is:

“Either learn how to change or accept, but never feel hopeless and do nothing.”

In life there are things that have reasons, things that don’t. There’s no specific flawless list either that informs us of all the things that have reasons and all those that don’t. If anything, that’s what makes life exciting. What makes it more exciting is that we’re all together on this amazing journey called life. We always have our fellow man to relate to, to never feel alone. 

So kids…

Smile and be happy =)