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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at York U chapter.

Friends are arguably the greatest part of life. Having people around you that make you feel happy, safe, and valued is basically magic. They have the ability to make you feel loved without doing a thing, but you know that they would do anything for you. And I’m willing to bet you’d do the same for your own friends. So why do we struggle so much to do the same for ourselves?

Kayla Bacon-Friends Sitting On Road
Kayla Bacon / Her Campus

The other day I was walking with a friend, and our conversation was teetering on the edge between jest and earnestness, as they often do. But what was different about this talk was that when it dipped into the more serious side, my friend told me we didn’t have to talk about the gloom we were dancing around. They looked at me and said what nearly broke me in half: “I don’t want to be a burden.” 

That’s all it took to have the air completely sucked out of my lungs. I was shocked and unsure of how I would convince them that they were entirely and wholly worthy of all of my attention and care. How would I let them know that I was always there to hear the darkest parts of themselves without needing anything in return, no matter what? After the initial wave of heartbreak washed over me, I started wondering why they would feel that way. Who could have hurt them enough to think they were a burden? What could I have possibly done to make them think it was true? But it struck me that there was only one person that made them feel that way: themselves. 

Then I realized… I felt like a burden too. 

It was one of those lightbulb moments. Nobody- especially not this friend- had ever made me feel like I couldn’t express the less-than-positive aspects of my life, yet there I was, thinking that any negative attitude, struggle, or thought I was feeling was too much to place upon someone else’s plate. As much as it was tearing me apart to know that my friend felt like a burden, I knew that it would be hypocritical for me to tell them that was an outrageous thought to have. Because unfortunately, we both had this same problem, and I was beginning to suspect that it was universal. No matter how great our capacity for love and ability to care for others can be, we end up falling short when it comes to caring for ourselves. 

That has to change. It’s time we started loving ourselves.

I know it’s waaaaaaaaay easier said than done, and it’ll take time- maybe a lifetime- to actually feel like you are worthy of being your own friend. But until we put in the conscious effort to at least try, we’ll never improve. Identifying the moments of self-doubt and self-deprecation is probably the biggest place to start, but what comes after that is learning how to forgive yourself. Forgiveness for the flaws that you see and forgiveness for the way you’ve treated yourself is so critical in learning to love yourself. Maybe you’ll never reach a point where you think that you are the greatest part of your life, but you are the greatest part of someone else’s life. 

Until you’ve realized that, there are a few things you should know… You are worthy of love. You can ask for what you need. You can cry, you can scream, you can just be sad. People are here for you, and if you need someone to rant to that isn’t attached to the rest of your life, there are resources out there. Counseling is an important and accessible tool. You are not alone. You are not too much. You are not a burden

Love yourself like you love your friends.

Roxanne Hahn

York U '25

Roxanne is a writer for the York University chapter of HerCampus Magazine, where she covers a wide gamut of article topics. Originally from rural Alberta, Roxanne studied Film & Video Production at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary, prior to packing up her life for the big city of Toronto. Currently, she is a third year BFA Screenwriting major at York University, and has many creative passions, including photography, music, and (of course) writing. She looks forward to continuing her work with the talented, intelligent, and empowering HerCampus team in the 2023/24 year.