Welcome to our special section, Thrive on Campus, devoted to covering the urgent issue of mental health among college and university students from all angles. If you are a college student, we invite you to apply to be an Editor-at-Large, or to simply contribute (please tag your pieces ThriveOnCampus). We welcome faculty, clinicians, and graduates to contribute as well. Read more here.

“Let’s see, parents, books, sleep, food, friends…myself? Oh yes, myself as well!”

It took 15 minutes and ‘experimentation’ on around 10 people to realize how true that quote was because out of all those long lists that contained everything ranging from food items to celebrity crushes, not a single person mentioned themselves. How is it that they didn’t mention their names on that list, they definitely love themselves, don’t they?

There have been many moments wherein I’ve heard people chattering about how they love themselves and how they are the most awesome people on Earth! Other than the fact that it’s quite amusing to hear such rarely spoken words, it’s also something to admire in the other person. Why? Because in the fast-paced 21st where everybody is milling about and getting their priorities straight, words like “unconditional love”, “appreciation” and “attachment” are heaped upon tons of people, but how many times have we used those words for our-self?

“But we already know that we love our own person, why is it necessary to constantly remind ourselves of that?”

In that case, it’s fascinating to see how we constantly remind our loved ones that we love them, how we appreciate others for various things but often forget to do the same for ourselves, how we raise our friends’ spirits when they are low but find it hard to do so for our-self, if not ourselves then why them? Maybe it’s because of the instant smile they get when they hear those words of admiration, or that spark in their eyes which reveals their gratitude, imagine such feelings when you look at yourself in the mirror, simply smile and compliment yourself, it’s a feeling quite unlike others.

So don’t wait for others to come around and push you up or admire you, start off by being the first one to love yourself. When you put your name on top of that personal priority list, life takes a turn for the better; from your outlook on the world to your relationships with people. The idea of loving yourself isn’t too idealistic, is it? Let’s start from now onwards by adding our name in the list of all the things we love, shall we?

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More on Mental Health on Campus:

What Campus Mental Health Centers Are Doing to Keep Up With Student Need

If You’re a Student Who’s Struggling With Mental Health, These 7 Tips Will Help

The Hidden Stress of RAs in the Student Mental Health Crisis