Unapologetically You!
How To Be Your Best Self

By Ashley Bradish

Have you ever listened to a band you didn't like, worn clothes you didn't want to wear, or took part in a trend that you weren't into so you could fit in? Well, shake off all that bad mojo because I'm gonna tell you how and why you should love yourself and be whoever you want to be.

The best compliment I ever received was from a note in my High School yearbook that said, "You are so unapologetically you!"

It is such a blessing to be able to express your true self rather than hiding behind a mask to please others.

But it's not easy to be the person you want to be; you have to love yourself first.

Here are some strategies that I applied to my everyday life that might help you love yourself too:

1. Change "I have to" statements into "I deserve" statements. For example, instead of saying, "I have to clean my room," say to yourself, "I deserve to have a clean living space." This method can also apply to eating healthy, showering, exercising, and so much more!

2. Take some time to look at yourself in the mirror. Don't brood about how you wish you looked, but find little qualities you like about yourself. For me, it's my scattered little freckles, my round nose, and my hair.

3. Think about the personality traits you wish you saw in more people, and then fulfill them. If you wish people were more generous, donate to a good cause or leave good tips for wait staff. If you wish people were nicer, be kind to everyone you meet. Kindness is contagious, after all!

4. Come up with something or someone you want to be and go for it! When I was in High School, I wanted to be someone who made puns. So first, I looked up some puns about a few topics and used them whenever I could. Then, I was able to tweak those puns into other conversations and situations. Soon after, I was able to apply play-on-words for almost anything. And now, I am confident that I can make a pun in any context.

5. Doing small things like making your bed and brushing your teeth will play a significant role in how you feel about yourself. So be sure to keep at them!

So, in conclusion (as all my high school essays would say), loving how you are is the first step of becoming who you are. So wear those patterned clothes from the '80s, dance to your favorite songs in public, and be the kind of person who you can be proud of.