The Self-Esteem Equation

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By Catrina Leone

Never let someone’s inability to see your worth lower your value and opinion of yourself. Mallory* is a freshman here at Cuyahoga Community College. She reached out to my editor and asked I write about self-esteem and relationships. Freshman year is a year of transition, a year of new beginnings, a year of new relationships and friendships formed. This article is for Mallory* and all the others who feel down on themselves, this article is to lift you up because you matter.

I have been in the position of not feeling good enough, the position of questioning myself and self-doubt. I spent most of my high school years quiet and shy which of course left me date-less for dances and without a significant other. A lot of that was due to bullying and the ridicule I faced. My hair was too curly, my outfits weren’t designer, and my body wasn’t perfect. It made me a very insecure person, a girl who did not feel worthy, until I found the worth inside of myself. Never be ashamed of who you are. I would straighten my hair daily to please other people, but I was never pleasing myself. It is important to note though that having a significant other or having a guy or girl notice you does not determine your worth, ever. Is it nice? It definitely is, but isn’t everything. It is hard when you look around and see other people living the seemingly perfect fairytale. I am here to tell you; that doesn’t exist. Life is not a fairy tale.

Being in college is difficult enough, the cost of books, tuition, fear of the future, but when you add the anxiety of dating it can become unbearable. Girls like Mallory* inspire me and help me realize how much I love what I do. Happiness is a journey, not a destination. It is so simple to get caught up in the hype that you need a boyfriend or girlfriend to define you. Look deep within yourself and that is where you will find what will define you. I spent years secluded from the world, years feeling alone, but I am a survivor and got through the darkest periods of my life, without a guy by my side. Having self-esteem is very important to attract the right partner and people, but it is more crucial for you. I feel the pain of starting over, the pain of being rejected, the pain of not feeling good enough but those are all road bumps. The pain does subside and you will be taken to a place you never dreamed, a place that you made it to on your own. It is great to have a significant other to build you up, but you must build yourself up first and be happy on your own first before you can be happy with anyone else. So, to Mallory* and all the others reading this, YOU ARE ENOUGH and that mind-set begins today and starts with you. God Bless.

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