Self-love as a high school student

The importance of self love


Graphic created by Lamiya Antaria

Is it ever hard for you to balance life and school as a high school student? Well then this might just be what you need to hear.

How does one measure self-love? It varies from person to person. Going out for a walk, working out or treating yourself with an ice cream sundae after studying for three hours straight. These can all be ways to take care of yourself.

Life can be hard sometimes. For high school students in particular, it is hard keeping up with yourself, family and friends, a social life, maintaining good grades and managing your physical and emotional well being at the same time.

The concept of self-love and self-care is often misunderstood and overlooked. Why do we often subconsciously or consciously opt to ignore our own needs? When we look in the mirror, what value do we as human beings hold of ourselves in our own eyes?

It is extremely important to be kind to yourself. Not only for you, but for others around you as well. Different types of self-love, such as self-care, daily affirmations or just participating in activities that make you happy can have an outstanding positive impact on your mental health as well as your physical health and can help you achieve your goals.

According to ScienceDaily, taking part in self-compassion calms the heart rate and lowers the risk of various diseases. Being nice to yourself can increase feelings of well-being and help you perform better in everyday activities overall. In order to do better in life and help others, you need to help yourself first. For instance, when the oxygen masks in an airplane drops, you need to put yours on first before you can help others.

So going back to my question, how does one measure self-love?

Adela Qiu, a junior at Bridgeland High School, talks about how she manages her extracurriculars, social life and school at the same time. She describes her definition of self-love and self-care, and what she thinks in terms of being nice to oneself.

“Self-love is really important because everything you will gain in your life is based on your physical and mental health,” Qiu said. “For me personally, self-love is forgiving myself when I mess up on a test or allowing myself time to relax. Immersing myself with TV shows is my way of escaping life temporarily, and I think it is acceptable to do that once in a while to let go of the stress I currently have.”

That being said, Qiu staying involved in so many extracurriculars. Being the HOSA secretary, MVA event coordinator, playing the piano for 12 years and being a consistent member of choir with solo and ensemble for four years highlights the struggles of current high school students who are so incredibly invested in school and extracurriculars that they forget to save some time for themselves.

Another junior, Donovan Bechi, also shares how he measures self-love and what he does to prioritize himself.

“Self-love is important because to be able to do well socially and respect others, you have to respect yourself,” Bechi said. “Some nice things I do for myself are buying things. I treat myself by hanging out with friends.”

Bechi spends most of his time after school participating in track and field and volunteering in Key Club. He talks about his version of self love and lessons he has learned overtime.

“Some tips I’d have for self-care is to not beat yourself up over simple mistakes,” Bechi said. “See what you can learn from your failures.”

If you don’t particularly know where to start, no worries! I have provided some tips and tricks to help with your self-care and self-love journey. When a person’s life is busy with so many things going on at once, it is difficult to find time to do anything else. Starting small and growing from there can make a large, positive difference.

Go on a walk or run every day. Nature has proven to be a fantastic stress reliever. Even if you are not very fond of nature, try it and observe the effects. According to the YaleEnvironement360, two hours a week around nature is enough to soothe one’s soul and report good physiological and psychological well-being.
Daily affirmations. I know, it sounds bizarre because you probably hear it everywhere, but there is a reason why you do! According to Mål Paper, studies have shown that daily affirmations help activate parts of the brain that are associated with self-related processing and reward. I have provided a link that can help you learn more about all of the effects of daily affirmations in case you want to learn more.
Forgive yourself. Many times high school students find it hard to forgive themselves after not getting the grade they wanted on a test or just making a mistake. In order to forgive yourself, you have to accept that you are not perfect. By forgiving yourself, you allow yourself to learn and grow from the mistakes you made, and say “Hey! I made this mistake but it’s alright–it happens. I will figure out what I did wrong by myself or with the help of someone else, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.” This is an amazing mindset to have that can help you become successful in the long run.
Reward yourself with a delicious meal. Whether you prefer home cooked meals or takeout, fulfilling yourself with a good meal can help you become more mindful of your surroundings and help you digest your food better. Having a meal you enjoy can help provide a sense of satisfaction and reset your mind to prepare for all the things you need to accomplish that day.
Acknowledge your potential. Know what you want in and out of life and chase exclusively after those goals. Accept where you are at this point in time and plan your next steps accordingly. If something doesn’t go your way, there is no need to stress because you will be fine at the end.
Stop relying on academic validation. Many high school students put 100% of their time and effort into getting all A’s on their transcript. Know that your grades don’t define your worth, and that it is just a letter. What defines you is your character, your charisma and how you treat others. Grades will not matter in five years. That is not to say that you shouldn’t try, and of course you should! However, basing all of your self-worth and respect on grades is not the best mindset.