I wish that I could say that I had been perfectly kind in high school. I wasn’t. I wish I could say that what other’s thought of me didn’t matter. It did and it does. We are all imperfect and make mistakes, but how can we choose to be our best selves everyday…even in the extremely challenging world of high school?
First, we have to be kind to ourselves. We have to recognize that comparing ourselves to others is never going to make us feel good enough. We always compare our worst selves to someone else’s “best self.” We have to begin to honor our own unique differences and how they make us special. What makes you unique? Do you have a quirky sense of humor? Are you a gifted writer? Do you like to sing (even if it is only in your car or by yourself)? Are you a good listener? There are so many special things about each of us that give us value…no matter what size, how smart, or how put-together someone else might seem.
Second, we have to be kind to others. It can be so easy to label people and put people in categories. The weird girl, the smart guy, the person that you know will be at all the parties. It can be so hard to go against the group when everyone else is telling stories about what someone did over the weekend or posting mean photos or comments on twitter and Instagram. There is never an excuse to be unkind, and I challenge you guys to TAKE A STAND. Don’t be a part of rumors and mean-talk about others at school, and when you can, stand up against it when you see others being mean. I truly admire those who are strong enough to do that, and I wished I had been more like them myself in high school.
Lastly, if you are struggling with how you feel about yourself, have been bullied, or realize you may be part of bullying, check-in with a counselor. Sometimes talking to someone that is there just for you can help you figure out how to feel like and become the person you really want to be.