To The Girl Feeling Insecure In Her Spring Break Bikini

To The Girl Feeling Insecure In Her Spring Break Bikini

Choose to remember splashing in the waves laughing with friends or sunbathing all day instead of obsessing over how you look.
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I know you. You've been my best friends, and at times you've been me. It's so easy as girls to be insecure and beat yourself up- especially when you are half-naked laying on a beach along with half of your school. There's so much buildup and pressure to Spring Break. Crazy diets, working out, swimsuit shopping, it can all be overwhelming. Where's time for the fun in all this? For too many girls the excitement built up to Spring Break comes also with the dread of wearing a bikini in front of everyone.

I'm telling you to stop. Set aside the anxiety. Stop the crazy diets and start focusing on what's important. Don't waste time worrying and obsessing over how you look, think about how fun the trip will be regardless of a few pounds. The amount of fun a person has is not directly correlated with the number on the scale or a six pack of abs. The key to a perfect spring break is deciding for yourself that you will not let physical appearance or what others may think hold them back from savoring every moment.

Confidence is beauty, don't compare yourself to others.

Despite what the media tries to tell us, everyone has a perfect "spring break body." You have just as much of a right to rock a bikini as anyone else does. There is no one shape or size that a person should be to have fun on the beach with their friends or family. You are much more beautiful than you believe, and if you treat your body with the love and respect you deserve, other people will too. Put your shoulders back and hold your head high, the only one who has power over how you feel about your body is you.

Throw on your cutest swimsuit and your huge sunglasses and hit the beach.

Don't constantly look in the mirror and beat yourself up over every little imperfection. All that does is set yourself up for a day of doubting yourself. No one is going to look at you as closely or as critically as you look at yourself. I challenge you to stand in front of that mirror before you head out for the day and find 10 things you love about yourself. Whether it’s the strength of your legs that let you walk on the beach or the way your smile lights up a room, choose to focus on these things instead of things that put yourself down.

I know, it’s not easy. However, at the end of the day ur not going to want to look back on this trip and remember how insecure you felt. Choose to remember splashing in the waves laughing with friends or sunbathing all day instead of obsessing over how you look or what others might think.

Remember that the only person thinking negative things about your body is you. Choose to remember what matters.

Cover Image Credit: Julianna Merry

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To All The Nurses In The Making

We tell ourselves that one day it'll all pay off, but will it actually?
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I bet you’re taking a break from studying right now just to read this, aren’t you? Either at the library with friends or in your dorm room. Wherever you may be, you never get the chance to put your books down, at least that’s how it feels to most of us. It sucks feeling like you’ve chosen the hardest major in the world, especially when you see other students barely spending any time studying or doing school work. The exclamation “You’re still here!” is an all too frequent expression from fellow students after recognizing that you’ve spent 10-plus hours in the library. At first it didn’t seem so bad and you told yourself, “This isn’t so difficult, I can handle it,” but fast-forward a few months and you’re questioning if this is really what you want to do with your life.

You can’t keep track of the amount of mental breakdowns you’ve had, how much coffee you’ve consumed, or how many times you’ve called your mom to tell her that you’re dropping out. Nursing is no joke. Half the time it makes you want to go back and change your major, and the other half reminds you why you want to do this, and that is what gets you through it. The thing about being a nursing major is that despite all the difficult exams, labs and overwhelming hours of studying you do, you know that someday you might be the reason someone lives, and you can’t give up on that purpose. We all have our own reasons why we chose nursing -- everyone in your family is a nurse, it’s something you’ve always wanted to do, you’re good at it, or like me, you want to give back to what was given to you. Regardless of what your reasoning is, we all take the same classes, deal with the same professors, and we all have our moments.

I’ve found that groups of students in the same nursing program are like a big family who are unconditionally supportive of each other and offer advice when it’s needed the most. We think that every other college student around us has it so easy, but we know that is not necessarily true. Every major can prove difficult; we’re just a little harder on ourselves. Whenever you feel overwhelmed with your school work and you want to give up, give yourself a minute to imagine where you’ll be in five years -- somewhere in a hospital, taking vitals, and explaining to a patient that everything will be OK. Everything will be worth what we are going through to get to that exact moment.

Remember that the stress and worry about not getting at least a B+ on your anatomy exam is just a small blip of time in our journey; the hours and dedication suck, and it’s those moments that weed us out. Even our advisors tell us that it’s not easy, and they remind us to come up with a back-up plan. Well, I say that if you truly want to be a nurse one day, you must put in your dedication and hard work, study your ass off, stay organized, and you WILL become the nurse you’ve always wanted to be. Don’t let someone discourage you when they relent about how hard nursing is. Take it as motivation to show them that yeah, it is hard, but you know what, I made it through.

With everything you do, give 110 percent and never give up on yourself. If nursing is something that you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life, stick with it and remember the lives you will be impacting someday.

SEE ALSO: Why Nursing School Is Different Than Any Other Major

Cover Image Credit: Kaylee O'Neal

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Please, Let Me Be More Than My Flaws

Maybe if I list them, they'll have less power over me.

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Back, thighs, stomach, knees — stop. I need to stop listing them because soon people will look and take notice of my…

Flaws.

Actually, no. Let's take a moment. I already know that I can't change much of my appearance. Just as I was born with this body, I will die with it. I know that society's beauty standards are disproportionate, and quite frankly, unrealistic.

So why am I stressing? What am I searching for?

Oh, yeah, that's right. All I want is for someone to think that I'm pretty.

But, of course, that thought will never run through anyone's mind. I don't have the skinny body shown in all the magazines, nor do my curves fall in all the right places. My back is sprinkled with acne scars. My stomach isn't tan enough, nor flat enough, to ever look attractive and sexy in a bikini. My knees look weird. Not that I ever really cared for a thigh gap, but I lack one anyway.

I've gained weight since I stopped playing sports on a consistent basis. I don't fit into the same jeans going into my sophomore year of college as I did my sophomore year of high school. I hardly ever wear makeup, causing me to look more like I'm 17 than 20. I have never, nor will I ever, have a perfect and desirable body.

I had a friend a few years ago that I went shopping with. She looked at a dress that I bought that day, saw the XL hanger and, looking at me funny, asked, "Did you buy that size?"

Feeling ashamed, I lied and said that I hadn't. I did buy that XL dress though. The large fit me, but I wanted to wear something slightly looser, hence the size up. But what does that matter? Why is it that anyone, even a friend, would have to look at me differently because of the clothes I buy? Why does a size have to correlate to a person's worth? I still love that dress, but I rarely wear it. Whenever I pull it out, I think of that individual and sadly put it back — because I know that wearing that size somehow makes me less beautiful.

I know I shouldn't hate myself for it, but I do.

I was on Instagram the other day, and I kept seeing all of these body positive and self-esteem boosting posts — you know, the ones meant to be inspiring and to create that "feel good" moment. I wonder how many of those advocates posting really feel 100 percent good about their own bodies. I know it's easy for them to say they will accept their body as it is, but it's quite another thing to actually feel that way in the soul.

Personally, I know it's insanely difficult. I've spent years trying to work toward acceptance, and I have only taken baby steps.

Of course, one day I want to be able to accept my flaws, to look at them and not even see a flaw, but rather a part of my body. I want to be able to shop for clothes without concern for how a particular shirt or dress might make my stomach look. One day, I wish to be able to step on the scale or look at myself in the mirror and, for once, actually like what stares back at me.

I want to. But it's just so hard.

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