Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Back to School, by the amazing Sioned Dyer

Well there is no turning back now, school is ON!

Going back to school can be an exciting time but it can also be a stressful time too. It’s exciting because you can reconnect with friends you hadn’t seen much of over the summer and there is something comforting about getting back to a routine (or is that just me). It’s stressful because, well, high school is tough. It is tough on so many levels. I won’t remind you of the many reasons why this is so but I think most people agree that there are is a lot of pressure to fit in. You have to be friends with the right people, wear the right clothes, get the right grades, figure out how to deal with people, with yourself, with your parents/guardians…I realize I’m giving you the reasons I said I wasn’t going to. Moving on.

One of the biggest things I struggled with in school was feeling good in my body. And with that, I struggled to find someone who understood what that was like. It seemed like my all friends were skipping along with not a care in the world while I was trying to get through the day without feeling terrible about myself. I didn’t think there was anyone who would understand the freight-train of emotions I was dealing with at any given moment. I know now that this is not true and that EVERYONE has struggles, but they disguise it really well so we just don’t see it.

If I were to travel back in time to visit with 16-year-old Sioned before she started school, I would sit her down and tell her the following:

  • High School is hard and sometimes it just needs to be endured- feel good knowing that you are getting through someone which requires a lot of courage on a daily, hourly basis.
  • You are beautiful because you are you.
  • Find that one friend who you can share your stresses with. All you need is one person. 500 Facebook friends and their ‘likes’ will not provide you with the validation and love that one friend can give you.
  • Know that if you aren’t feeling great in your skin, it is OK. But rather than focusing on the fact that you may not look like the supermodel of the week (in part, because she is a Photoshopped robot), take time to appreciate what your body can do and what that feels like. What does it feel like to have strong legs, to have arms that give great hugs, to have warmth and grace that spills out from your heart onto your glowing face? It’s only when I shifted my perspective to think like this that I began to feel good in my skin.

So while you may not see yourself reflected back in magazines, in music videos or any other media platform, you have great worth that extends beyond this superficial world. I hope you enjoy your year and surround yourself with people that make you feel good, even if that ends up being one person. Trust me, that one person’s awesomeness will get you through the crazy obstacle course that is highschool!


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