No One’s Perfect
During high school, you may hear your friends, parents, or even a coach tell you to “just be yourself” – but what does that really mean? Knowing who you are and what you believe in is important. Recognizing the influences in your life (both good and bad) makes it easier for you to make important choices about who to hang out with and whether or not to try drugs or alcohol.
There is a complicated list of reasons why people try or use drugs. Some people do it to change the way they feel. Sometimes people use drugs to go along with the crowd and cover up their insecurities. Consider this — former users often say that drugs ended up isolating them from friends and family and made them feel even more alone.
Instead of going along with what some people are doing, you could spend more of your energy on you – your style, your viewpoints, and your own way of doing things. You can’t control what another person thinks about you. Isn’t it more worthwhile to work on what you think about yourself, and not try to shape someone else’s impression of you?
Just be yourself and hang with friends who encourage you to be who you are, and not who they want you to be.
And don’t be too hard on yourself—you may be your toughest critic. Hang out with people who support you and be careful of people who are all about negativity.
Love what you’ve got – Body image is your own idea of what your body looks like. And how you feel about yourself has a lot to do with how you see yourself and your body. If you want to make changes to your weight or strength, then by all means go for it – but do it safely and keep your overall health in mind. Taking steroids, diet pills, or abusing diuretics or laxatives are all very risky and, after extended use, can really hurt your body and cause some long-term damage. Eating disorders (like Anorexia or Bulimia), drug use, and cutting are also extremely dangerous to your body and your mind.
Anorexia – Anorexia involves extreme weight loss. The individual believes she is overweight, even as she becomes much too thin to be healthy. In some cases, anorexia can lead to death.
Bulimia – This disorder involves periods of overeating, followed by purging (throwing up), using laxatives, or excessive exercising. This behavior is often called “bingeing and purging.”
Not to sound like one of those outdated health class videos, but… Find some comfort in knowing that everyone feels a bit weird about their bodies during high school. Sometimes you probably think, “If I could just change my (fill in the blank), my life would be so much better.” Well, it’s not that easy. Real happiness doesn’t come from the size of your jeans. It comes from personal strength, self-respect, and knowing yourself.