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Self-love has been a trending topic on social media platforms for some time now. Through Instagram posts, tweets and articles, celebrities and bloggers discuss the many ways millennials can achieve it.
Or buy it.
However, social media has trivialized the meaning of self-love.
The first thing that comes to mind when hearing the words ‘self-love’ are images of bubble baths, spa days, retail therapy, or indulging in your favourite dessert.
But as students, achieving self-love really doesn’t involve only those things.
Self-love is about self-discovery, it’s about learning who you are.
Most of all, self-love is a messy process.
As students, we are constantly working on assignments, studying for tests and attending classes. When we’re not doing that, we’re working jobs — sometimes multiple at a time — to pay off our student debt whilst still trying to afford and maintain a social life, keep up our diets and save for a vacation.
There’s no doubt university takes a toll on our mental wellness which is why maintaining a healthy relationship with ourselves is important.
But how can we do that when our attention is constantly focused on juggling so many things?
Self-love isn’t an abstract idea. It is possible to identify the struggles and successes that individuals face while in university that contribute to students’ growth beyond the classroom. But balancing a healthy relationship with yourself while working hard is not something you can achieve easily. We have to be patient with ourselves to do it.
It’s important to take the time to think about the person you want to be, to have experiences that help you figure out your likes and dislikes.
To fail, to persevere, to explore. Make friends, lose friends, take risks and chances.
Once you step out of your comfort zone, you’ll be on your journey to achieving self-love.
So while you’re sitting in class, preparing for a test or even going out with friends, take a moment to ask yourself, is this what I want to be doing? Does this program give me fulfilment? Are the people in my life contributing to my happiness?
Reflecting on your busy schedule is an opportunity to discover the intention behind your goals, whether professional or personal.
When you tune in to your feelings, you will begin to centre yourself.
And by doing so, you are already incorporating self-love into your daily routine.
As students about to graduate from university, many of us have not yet achieved self-love, but are in the process of and have taken steps towards doing so.
For younger students beginning university, don’t be pressured into having your life picture-perfect, your mental health sound, and your future set.
Having an unstable life allows you to discover yourself on a deeper level and therefore embark on the pursuit of true self-love.