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Loving yourself. A concept that should be so easy and natural. Yet, it’s one of the hardest things to do. Why can’t we love ourselves for who we are, where we are at, and where we are going. When did loving ourselves for who we are become the hardest thing we would ever have to do. 

I am learning to love myself. Honestly, I kinda suck at it. Don’t we all at some point in our lives? People always tell you the importance of being kind to yourself and loving who you are created to be. That advice is a lot easier said than done! 

Social media fills our minds with images of perfect bodies, lives, and careers where no one struggles. Everyone is living their best lives. Cellulite is a thing of the past. Stretch marks… who are you? Wrinkles, acne, and scars are so 2000. Everyone is happy. Not a struggle in the world. How are we supposed to love ourselves when our minds are constantly being bombarded by these images telling us that we are not good enough?

Snapchat stories are filled with parties. College is glamorous. Zero struggles, mental breakdowns, or questioning if we are good enough to be here. Everyone is happy with a huge group of friends. Straight As. 4.0 GPA. Major is declared. Let’s add a concentration on top of that. Why is everyone having such a great time at college and I’m not? When did everyone around me decide that they are going to be a doctor, lawyer, or some other wildly successful person? When did going to graduate school give us self worth? What’s wrong with me for not wanting to spend the rest of my life in school? I guess I am not good enough. 

Freshman 15. Caf food. Am I the only one struggling with staying fit at college? Am I the only one struggling to find time to go to the gym to get the perfect body that social media says we all need. How am I supposed to fit into size 00 jeans by the end of the semester like all the other girls on social media. 

These thoughts have crossed my mind about a million times. If they have crossed yours, know that you are not alone. Loving yourself is hard sometimes. We don’t always get the grades we want (cough, cough… me on my psych midterm). Being a 4.0 student isn’t the only way to succeed. Sometimes we need to take a step back and be kind to ourselves and remember that D’s get degrees baby! Should we always work hard, yes, but our mental health always needs to be our #1 priority. Cellulite, acne, scares, and stretch marks are a thing of beauty. They are natural. They show resilience. They are a part of our story. Jean size is a thing of the past. Whether you wear a size 00 or a size 16 you are all equally perfect. It’s ok to have nights where you relax in your room alone. It’s ok to binge watch the latest Netflix show. It’s perfectly ok to not have a million friends and go to every party. 

College is hard. Life is hard. It doesn’t need to be hard to love ourselves. I challenge you to be kind to yourself. Show grace, patience, and empathy to yourself and those around you. Celebrate what makes you you. Most importantly, remember that not everything you see on social media is true. Here’s to loving ourselves for who we are, where we are, and where we are going.