by Jenna Winkelmann
It’s Pride month and for those who aren’t in the know, the month of June is dedicated to recognizing those within the LGBTQ+ community who are fighting to live their truest selves. It’s exciting to see the support on our college campuses shining a bright, colorful light on the need for awareness, acceptance, and support.
It’s also a time (as good as any) to check in with yourself and gauge your own self-love meter. Are you self-critical? Are you navigating college life aligned with your values? What even are your values?! Are you armed with the info that you need to be compassionate instead of judgey? Maybe. Maybe not? Pride reminds us that it’s always a great time to roll up your sleeves and dig into these things a bit more.
It goes without saying that it can be hard to find your truest self. What does that even mean?! I find that it really hits you during our college years. For some, it’s our first exposure to diversity, differing opinions, and political views and finding a way to fit into it all. So many young people are still searching and exploring who they want to be and without the foundation to navigate it all, our days can feel like a long, long rollercoaster ride. This is especially common among college-age people just entering a world of newfound freedom who may be wondering, “How can I figure out who I really am?” There’s work to be done and we’ve got some methods to share with you to begin the journey of self-discovery.
Step 1: Get A Move On It!
We’re not just talking about the gym. One of the best things about college is that you have endless student activities available to you: clubs, intramurals, and groups of all kinds! Participating in different events on campus is without a doubt, a way to dig into what you truly like, and on the flip side, to figure out what you are just not down with.
In order to really grow, we need to step out of our bubbles and comfort zones and experience a connection with people, places and things outside of our ‘familiar’. Embrace the diversity. Embrace the discomfort. Embrace the unknown. Tell that fear to step aside for a sec. You’ll be surprised at the thrill of it all. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, has strengths, and being involved in groups on campus could be just the thing to delve into all of this self-love, confidence stuff. The extra bonus is learning to cultivate some patience, awareness and compassion. That’s the glue to being an individual and to being an individual in a community.
The message here is to jump in and take note of things like how you interact with people and how you react to certain situations. Take stock and figure out where to expand and where there’s some work to be done on your path. Here at AROOMATHERAPY, you’ll find that we are really big on intention setting and we’ve got you covered on this one with LOVE YA SELF.
Step 2: Be An Explorer
Stating the obvious, one of the truly scariest parts of going off the college is not knowing most of the people on campus. You’ve gotta really put yourself out there to meet new people and while this can be a scary thing, it can also be really great! We’re talking about self-growth, and the building of your self-confidence. That’s exactly what AROOMATHERAPY’S LOVE YA SELF Intention Spray is all about. Think of it as a sprinkle of confidence. If you think about it, in college, everyone around you is in pretty much in the same boat as you.
Branching out and meeting new people is a great way to help discover who you truly are. Who do you tend to connect with and which of those connections are easy-breezy compared to others? In high school, it was probably way easier; you grew up with many of the other students in class so, there was a built-in shared experience. For those who are new to you, finding commonalities are a great way to start a conversation and improve your communication skills. Don’t forget to be a great listener, too! How can you learn and grow when you’re doing all of the talking. Just sayin…
Throw caution and self-doubt to the wind and check out new people, places and things. Be an explorer!
Step 3: Find Those Inspos!
You can learn a lot about yourself by looking at people who inspire you and let it be said, that you should always look for inspiration anywhere and everywhere. It’s motivating. It’s reassuring and it helps you in manifesting your goals and dreams. This can be a friend, a teacher, or anyone, really. Someone who’s trustworthy and understanding and the person who pushes you to do your best whether from near or far; creating space for you to feel comfortable simply being authentically YOU. If you don’t know what PRONOIA is, you may want to check it out. It’s about getting out of your head, trusting in what you want and then doing the work to make it all become a reality. The control of these actions and the actions themselves can also amp up your self-confidence.
Step 4: Be A Scholar (of Life)
College students are busy. I get it. Sometimes it’s super hard to make time for leisurely reading when you’ve been staring at a computer screen all day studying for exams, doing homework while trying to balance it all with having some semblance of a social life.
But to state the obvious: reading is essential. That’s why you do so much of it in college! It is a pillar of education and perspective and serves as an awesome tool on the journey to ‘finding’ yourself. As we’ve seen in the last year, reading up on current events equips us with the ability to have empathy and compassion for others, to learn how we can get involved and to ultimately become an active participant in being your best self.
Reading can spark something to help you to understand and relate to how you feel, how you can act on that feeling and how you can help others. A trifecta of sorts! Pride month is a great example of this. Whether or not you are part of the LGBTQ+ community, this month’s focus and global celebrations are all about awareness and literally, the right to be individuals. At its core, it’s about self-love and inclusion. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all had the freedom, stability and confidence that comes with love? So, commit to expanding your heart and your mind and start here: LOVE YA SELF.
Step 5: Fear Is Not Your Leader
Full disclosure: Sometimes fear can be a good thing. Like when you are standing at the top of a really big mountain and it keeps you from getting too close to the edge. Or when you know you should not walk down that ominous, dark alley at night or eat anything you have found on the ground. Thank you, fear. Thank you.
But a lot of times, fear can hold you back.
There is a boatload of fear that can come with self-discovery. That fear is uncertainty and if we’re honest, peer-pressure can play a pretty big role especially in our college years. But here’s the thing…you’ll never know until you try. This is the time to step out of your box and explore, explore, explore. You’ve got this! All of that judgement going on internally needs to step aside to create space for all of the great stuff that can come from putting yourself out there. No FOMO welcomed here!
Everyone is different. That’s what’s so cool. So, live your way, laugh frequently, and LOVE YA SELF always!