6 Ways To Learn To Love Yourself

6 Ways To Learn To Love Yourself

A step forward is a step in the right direction.

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Loving yourself, especially in high school, is seen as an impossible feat that few will accomplish. While I may not have all the answers or even half, these 6 tips have helped me to learn to appreciate myself in a way that I never thought I could.

1. Eat lunch alone.

Eating lunch alone has been demonized, and I don't believe it deserves the hate it receives. Learning to love your own company is an important stepping stone in learning to love yourself. Spending time with yourself and learning what makes you happy allows you to appreciate you even more. It also helps you wean away from societal acceptance and begin to expect others to love and appreciate you the way you have begun to love yourself. Becoming your own best friend forces you to accept nothing less from those you surround yourself with.

2. Value your feelings.

Too many times, especially in today's age, we devalue our feelings for others comfort or for our own. Loving yourself comes down to respecting yourself and the feelings that you have. You are allowed to be sad, angry, and happy; do not diminish your emotions for anyone. To feel deeply is one of the most overlooked talents that we can grow to obtain; and to truly know your feelings and the value that it adds to your life, and to others, is immeasurable.

3. Allow yourself to be ugly.

Beauty is an objective opinion, plain and simple. Especially for women, we are not allowed to simply be ugly and tired and cold; but, we are humans with so much more to offer. While being socially accepted and viewed as beautiful has been ingrained in our minds as one of the most important aspects of our existence, allowing yourself to simply be ugly in whatever form that may take gives you so much more freedom than we could imagine. Allow yourself to love and appreciate your reflection even if you are not working to appear beautiful because that is not the reason you exist on this planet. You are so much more than the beauty that is relentlessly imposed upon you.

4. Dance naked. 

Purely and completely naked, every roll and stretch mark in attendance. Dancing naked, preferably in a mirror, forces you to look at the body you are in when you're happy. You spend so much time expecting your body to conform to social standards and the clothes you believe were not made for the bodies you reside in and forget that it is your home. It protects you and despite how many stretch marks you have or the extra fat under your arm, it loves you and it deserves your love in return.

5. Evaluate your friends.

The energy of the individuals that you choose to surround yourself with becomes the energy that you begin to hold within, whether or not you initially notice it. Surrounding yourself with people that consistently exude negative energy will alter your mindset and your thoughts. Evaluating your friends and making an effort to surround yourself with those that make you feel empowered and enough will have an immediate effect on the thoughts that you allow yourself to have.

6. Find things that make you happy.

This might seem like simple, yet impossible to follow advice, but so many of us have not taken the time to learn what we enjoy. You spend so much time as a human working relentlessly, being shown that relaxing is forbidden freedom; but, it is so important to invest time in yourself in order to learn what you love and what makes you happy. Experimenting and learning about yourself is a lost art that we must work to bring back.

Granted, I am still not in the place that I hope to be, but I believe that it is an uphill battle that is gradually becoming easier. Learning to love yourself does not happen overnight, There will be days where you feel like nothing is working and there will be days where the progress is outstanding. They're both necessary and important. I don't know when or if I will reach the finish line for this journey but I know that I am in a much better place than I was 6 months ago, and any step forward is a step in the right direction.

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ASU Students Push For A Healthier Dining Hall To Counter 'Freshman 15' Fears

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap.

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Arizona State University students are pushing for change within the downtown Phoenix dining hall as they strive to avoid the infamous freshman 15.

The downtown Phoenix campus offers fewer dining options than the Tempe campus and has a less appetizing dining hall. The freshman 15 is a common scare among students living in the dorms, who are often freshman.

The freshman 15 is defined as a student who gains 15 pounds or more in their first year of college. Studies prove the average freshman does not exercise the right amount, is sleep deprived, has a poor diet, increases their stress level, alcohol consumption, and fatty food intake, which is most likely causing their weight gain.

Lauren Hernandez

Daniella Rudoy, a journalism major and fitness instructor at the SDFC, relived her freshman year as she provided tips for incoming freshman.

"There are a lot of workouts you can do in your dorm room as long as you have access to YouTube or a floor. You can go on a run, a walk, or do exercises that do not require equipment," Rudoy said in support of college fitness.

Rudoy said that mental health, fitness, and nutrition all correlate with one another.

"I follow the saying abs are made in the kitchen. So if you are working out day and night, but eating a giant pizza and chicken wings with a pack of beer when you come home you aren't doing yourself much good," Rudoy said.

Lauren Hernandez

The main cause for weight gain is increased alcohol consumption. 80 percent of college students drink and this includes binge-drinking, which is unhealthy for many reasons.

Students who do not drink are most likely gaining weight because of their exposure to an all-you-can-eat dining hall. The downtown Phoenix campus offers a salad bar as their only consistent healthy option for students, therefore students are left eating hamburgers, fries, and pizza.

"I haven't been to the dining hall this semester. Last semester, I went because I had no other options. I am a vegetarian and the dining hall is not accommodating to those with allergies or food restrictions. I find it very difficult to find vegetarian options," Lexi Varrato, a journalism major said.

Lauren Hernandez

Varrato explained that she believes the freshman 15 is "100% real" and that incoming freshmen should research their meal plans and ask their school how their dietary restrictions will be accommodated before purchasing a non-refundable meal plan.

Megan Tretter, a nursing major at Seattle University emphasized that not every dining hall is like ASU's and that the freshman 15 is "definitely not a problem" at her school.

"I always eat healthy at my dining hall. There are a lot of good and healthy options at Seattle University. I usually go to the smoothie line in the morning, have a salad for lunch, and make myself an acai bowl after work with avocado toast in our floor's kitchen," Tretter said in support of her school's strive for healthy options.

College students across the United States have healthier dining options than ASU, but many colleges still face the same problems that students here are facing.

Tara Shultz, a journalism major at ASU believes she has avoided the "very real" freshman 15 by living at home.

"I believe the freshman 15 targets dorm residence and first-year students who do not live at home as they do not have their parents as a guide and are forced to eat at a dining hall that only serves fatty foods," Shultz emphasized.

Lauren Hernandez

The downtown Phoenix campus offers students access to the SDFC, YMCA, and Taylor Place gym, where students can take group fitness classes, run on a track, play basketball, or swim. Alternative options for students are purchasing a membership at Orangetheory or EOS Fitness.

Most students agreed with journalism major Vanessa Gonzalez that they have little time to work out due to their workload, but many students like Varrato, Tretter, and Rudoy explained that they try to work out every day as it is a stress reliever and it enriches their mental health.

Steve Fiorentino, the owner of Powered Up Nutrition encourages college students to learn what they are putting in their bodies.

"I think it starts with nutrition. Students believe they can outwork a bad diet and I believe that is their number one mistake. My advice is to stop eating fast foods and start eating whole and healthy foods along with supplements," Fiorentino stated.

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap. The campus dining hall is not always the reason to blame as students have the option to decrease their meal plans, become active, and make healthy choices!

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To The Big-Hearted Girls Who Just Can't Hit The Block Button

Your compassion for others knows no bounds, and that's why you can't seem to let them go.

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Not everyone is worthy of your good heart.

It might be hard to accept that, but it's true. The ones that don't deserve your attention and your care always out themselves. Maybe they take advantage of your kindness, maybe they use you for your love, or maybe they hurt you because they envy some aspect of you or your life. Whatever the case may be, I know you feel the pain from it. I know you are not naive enough to believe that they don't mean the hurtful things they say or that the awful things they put you through are only mere accidents.

Your problem is that you have too big of a heart. You love giving second chances and when they screw that chance up as well, you just can't help yourself from giving them a third, a fourth, or a fifth. Far too easily you are swept up in this cycle of forgiving and forgetting, only to have it blow up in your face time and time again.

You know better.

How many times have you sworn you wouldn't help them again, that it was the last time you'd speak to them, only to snatch up your phone the second you see their name pop up across the screen? How often have you cried over someone who only wanted to be a part of your life when they needed something from you?

Stop giving your all to people that don't care.

Trust me, I know it's easier said than done. It's a difficult habit to break, but once you do you are completely and utterly free from the toxicity. If you're looking for a sign to block that boy who has done nothing but break your heart, or if you were waiting for your cue to finally end that friendship that does nothing but make you feel small, here it is.

Unfortunately, not everyone is going to treat you with the love and respect that you so freely give. Most of the time the people that treat you like crap are just crappy people. It's not your responsibility to save every troubled soul, and you've probably learned by now that not all of them want to be saved.

There's nothing wrong with looking for the good in people, but when they start to drain you of your light you need to have the strength to let them go.

To the girls gifted with hearts too sensitive and ready to burst with compassion, it's OK to cut ties with those who hurt you time and time again. It doesn't mean you've stooped to their level; it doesn't mean you're a bad person. You tried your hardest, but toxic people rarely change their ways. You don't deserve that kind of pain.

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