Looking at What Matters

Skylar Burns

More stories from Skylar Burns


You wake up and look at yourself in the mirror…What do you see?

The way you perceive yourself affects how healthy your mind is. Self esteem is one of the biggest factors playing into depression. It isn’t until you learn to love yourself that you’re free from stress and anxiety. Confidence replaces fear and puts a new found peace in everything you do. Unfortunately, most high school students don’t have high self esteem. Self esteem is how you think or view yourself as an individual. 7 out of 10 girls, according to dosomething.org, believe they aren’t good enough or don’t measure up in some way. As high schoolers we are stuck in a never ending cycle of measuring up. We need to take a step back and realize how amazing we actually are.

I personally struggled with this problem in junior high. Growing up I absolutely loved dancing, and entering into junior high the excitement was overwhelming. Grigsby had a cheer team! I auditioned, made the team, and was over the moon. Through the first practices I realized that I was different from all the other girls. I felt bigger and I didnt do my hair the same way, or have the same clothes. I was perfectly fine with myself and how I looked until other cheerleaders started excluding me from all their activities. When the other girls started making mean comments about me, those of which I don’t want to share, I started feeling less than I actually was.

This personal experience attacked my mind for years to come. I always felt fat or ugly. I know a lot of other girls my age felt that way, too. When I transitioned into high school I started realizing that what other people think of me doesn’t really matter. Focusing everything on how you look or how much you weigh really just puts an unrealistic burden on you. It’s so satisfying to just accept yourself for who you are. I’ve found that when you’re confident in yourself, other people accept you for who you are. There’s always going to be those people who give you a hard time. In most of those situations those people are just jealous of you.

Most of us girls think about the “what ifs” of life. You can scroll through twitter any time of day and see a “picture perfect life.” This “normal” consists of a super skinny body, a hot guy next to your side, and an unrealistic mansion that these kids have when they’re 20. Social media likes to tell us what’s normal or not. They like to tell us how we should look and act, or what we should do when we’re older. 9 out of 10 girls feel pressure by the fashion and media industries to be skinny, according to the Park Nicollet Melrose Center. Sometimes as teenagers we need to unplug and realize what’s important in life.

If you’re a teenager (or anyone for that matter) struggling with self worth, I have a proposition for you. Take one day and stop caring about what other people think or you. Take a break from the world and just be yourself. Wear what you want to wear, eat what you want to eat, just take a moment and breathe.

Then wake up and look at yourself in the mirror…What do you see?