I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the idea of self-love and how it often comes later in life for girls. I remember throughout high school, nearly every girl had some part of themselves that they hated or felt insecure about. We were hypercritical perfectionists, and often times we didn’t feel that what we saw in the mirror was perfection, nor that what we were doing in school and for others was good enough.
Being in college now, I’ve noticed a slow shift from these feelings of self doubt and insecurity to ones of empowerment, strength, and self-love amongst girls. I can’t help but to think that it’s beautiful to watch this transformation in my friends and in myself—I write this article both as a reflection of my own experiences and in hopes that I can inspire other girls to nurture that part of themselves.
These are 5 reasons to love yourself—ones that made a huge difference for me.
1. You fought your way here.
Let’s give credit where credit is due—you busted your ass to get to where you are in life! You fought your way through competitive admissions, traumatizing exams, and other personal life hurdles that tried to hold you back, but here you are as an accomplished collegiette on top of your game.
All the effort you’ve put into bettering yourself and your future is worthy of your own praise and love. (P.S.: It’s okay to give yourself a break once in awhile and forgive yourself for procrastinating).
2. Your flaws do not define you.
Maybe I should rephrase—your perceived flaws do not define you. There’s much more to you than the small things and mistakes you pick out about yourself to focus on. You don’t have to be perfect to deserve your own love.
3. You’ve been broken and mended a million times.
Do you remember those exhausting nights you’ve cried and thought that you wouldn’t make it through that breakup or existential crisis or when it just felt like your heart was crumbling from too much weight? You might have thought that you weren’t strong enough to survive these things, but somehow, you pulled out the bandaids and slowly reassembled the shattered pieces of yourself. How many times have you had to remake yourself? You are resilient, and you come back stronger each time.
4. You will be happier.
When you acknowledge the distance you’ve come and appreciate the person you are today, you’ll be happier than when you were struggling against your own tides. It’s tiring to war against your mind and body.
5. You are on an upward trajectory.
This is not your peak—you’re still just going up from here! There will be dips, but you’ve shown time and time again that you bounce back from life’s hurdles. You have a whole future of goals and bucket lists to accomplish, and I can’t wait to see who you become. You have no idea how good life is going to get.