It’s Okay to Love You – Lauren Janetty

Since rush has finished, schedules start to fill up, and football season approaches, I find myself looking back on my freshman year. Many of the new freshmen in my sorority continually ask me, “What would you change if you could redo your freshman year?” Well, that question is definitely loaded and to be completely honest, I wasn’t 100% sure how to answer it until now.

First let me start off by saying that I would not change anything about my freshman year of college. Yes there are many things that I wish had gone just a tad bit differently, but hey it is a learning experience full of obscene times, hilarious memories and great friends.

With all of these awesome memories, I realized that what was really lacking my freshman year was the idea to be selfish: love yourself. This isn’t saying to completely disregard others thoughts and feelings and just be all about you all of the time. This idea is more of keeping your own self-interest, worth, and values above what everyone else thinks.

Now, I am not always great at putting myself first and I know many people have the same issue. As an all around push over, I tend to get the short end of the stick when it comes to caring about myself over others. Looking back now I can’t believe that I was worried about being accepted by them and not being accepted by myself. I placed their value of me over my own self-love. Here are some simple ways to love and value your-self more.

Be Yourself

I know, I know. This is such a cliché ideal to suggest to you guys but you know what it’s true. When walking to class, don’t worry about what others are wearing or what they’re doing just worry about yourself. I used to always wonder if my shorts were the right brand or my hair looked a certain way and I wasn’t happy. Now I walk to class in my messy bun and old lady glasses and I can honestly say I’ve never felt better. As long as you are comfortable in your own skin, you will succeed and you will have a better year. People will like you for who you are and on the off chance that they don’t, then you are way better off without them. Once I learned these things my life got so much better and so much less stressful.

Be Confident

Own whatever you do, always. If you want to wear those new Forever21 overalls out one night, own it. Nobody will ever question you or what you’re doing if you are completely 100% confident in it. They will in fact envy your fashion sense and wish to have more of it once they see how great you look and feel. Confidence is like a must have accessory that every girl should wear. People are drawn to it and jealous of it so once you learn to have it you will feel amazing about yourself and have a better day.

Be Happy

One big, BIG issue I faced freshman year was not allowing myself to be happy. Go out if you want to go out and it makes you happy (don’t listen to the haters okay because there are many). Smile on the way to class, smile at people you know; don’t let things get you down. You would be surprised how great you will feel after smiling and waving at someone you know and getting that same response back. This is a definite step up to walking to class with your head down and headphones in (which I did most of my freshman year and now regret). This is also a helpful way to make friends and maintain those friendships since nobody wants to chill with a sour patch kid. Don’t let the little things that happen throughout the week get you down. Everything passes and everything gets better over time I PROMISE (my life is practically a series of unfortunate events and hey I can confidently say it all works itself out).

All of these things will lead to you loving your-self more and more everyday. You come first. If anything now is the time to put your-self first. Once you start applying this to your freshman year, I can guarantee you will have a blast okay or your money back.

All the best,
Lauren Janetty
ljannett@vols.utk.edu

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