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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

TW: body image, weight

The start of the new school year also welcomes the start of a new chapter. Like many others, I take this time to weed through my old clothing and see what gets to join me for another season. While it’s great to purge and give things to others who will give them a new life, it can also rehash old feelings. I’m always saving items “just in case,” because you never know when you’ll need that one pair of ripped, camouflage jeans from eighth grade, right? Well, since I have some slight hoarding tendencies, this also means I have a lot of old attire, dating as far back as 2016… Yeah I know, it’s bad. When I decide to get rid of clothing, I typically go through and try it all on to get a good idea of what’s worth keeping and what’s not. However, this leads to me trying on a lot of things that don’t fit.

This summer, I found myself feeling upset over the fact that a lot of these items no longer fit me. Some of my shirts were too tight, my shorts wouldn’t go past my thighs, and I felt terrible. I began to question myself and get in my head until I had a realization: I am constantly changing. My life, my environment, and my goals, so of course my body is going to change with it. I am no longer a teenage girl. I’m not even the same person I was at the beginning of this year. I am an adult who needs a body that can meet my needs. The clothing 16-year-old me wore isn’t going to fit the 20-year-old version of myself, and that’s nothing to be sad about. Instead, we should take a moment to appreciate all of the growth that’s occurred for us over the last couple of years and be grateful that we get to experience different versions of ourselves.

So the next time you find yourself criticizing your body for the way it looks, remember how amazing it is to be constantly evolving. I am so thankful to be able to participate in the things I love. I am able to do yoga and go on hikes with friends, and my body supports me every step of the way. Every day we get a new chance to be someone great, and your body is the one thing that you get to take along with you. It’s the only one you will ever have, so put in the effort and love to make it your home.

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Danica Shores

U Mass Amherst '24

Danica Shores is from the small town of Sandwich, Massachusetts located on Cape Cod. She has grown up with a loving mother, 3 siblings, many cats, two turtles, and a bird. Her interests include yoga, self-care, poetry, and taking long walks. Currently, Danica is studying as a psychology major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her interests revolve around medical social work and providing therapeutic practices for young-adult women.