As a college student who doesn’t date, I don’t have much perspective to offer you all on romantic relationships besides

(outdated memes are my aesthetic)

(outdated memes are my aesthetic)






No, today, I’m here to talk about the most important kind of love: Self Love. Self love is knowing your worth, and making sure others do too. It’s a journey that lasts a lifetime, and one that I’ve made a lot of progress on these last few years of my life. Personally, what has made me struggle most with it is: ACNE

Acne isn’t like other physical characteristics that people discuss. It isn’t like insecurities about freckles or eye color or weight, that people have preferences of one kind over the other, because no one likes acne. Period. No culture values it, no TV shows have characters with it, there was never a time period anywhere on earth where it was considered a standard of beauty.

So, yeah. Acne is one of the suckiest things to feel self conscious about. For the entire first year of high school, I was physically unable to show my face in class without copious amounts of makeup. The one time I forgot my makeup bag I covered my face the whole day because I couldn’t look at anyone. In college, it made me feel even more out of place. Traditionally, in movies and media, college students look the most beautiful that they ever will, and yet there I was, looking like I should be a freshman in high school, not college.

Despite all of that, nowadays you’d find me hard pressed to go through the effort of covering up my skin for pretty much anything. Big change, right? How did you do it, Sumra! Tell us your secret!

Well I have a few. The first is I really thought about who I was doing it for. My intentions for the year I wore that much makeup weren’t any sort of good, to put it simply. A lesson I’ve learned:

If you aren’t doing it for yourself, DON’T DO IT AT ALL!!

As for the people we should care about, our friends and family, they are the least judgmental people. Trust me when I say they couldn’t care less about your outsides as long as you are healthy. For anyone else who calls you out in any way for your insecurities, they have serious growing up to do. Feel free to roast them.

The second change is that I focused on what I wanted other people to notice about me. Of course people were always going to look at my skin, but I realized if I presented myself as having way more relevant and lovely qualities, (which I promise every one of you does too), my insecurity was going to be the last thing that came to people’s minds when they thought of me. I love event planning. I love cooking for people. I love to make my friends laugh. These are the things I try to put into the world and hopefully they are what people remember me by. People will only focus on things like acne as much as you allow or encourage them to, so be positive and loud and awesome and don’t let your physical exterior define you for a second!

Of course, as with every struggle in life, it’s taught me so many lessons. I don’t know any clear skinned person who knows as much about skin care as I do. (Catch me at 60 free of wrinkles because I’m the only teen who listened to those articles about slathering on SPF every day 😎) Besides that superficialness, I don’t judge people based on their looks, or at least I try my hardest not to. I’ve had enough of that personally when people tried to blame my acne on lack of hygiene, exercise, diet, laziness, etc.

Now, after years of constant practice and positive reminders, I feel like I’m in a pretty good place right now, and the steps I took in my journey can be applied to any reason you might be struggling with self-love.

  1. Recognize the expectations and norms of society.

  2. Realize you don’t need to adhere to them to be happy

  3. Redirect your energy to what you love, not what you hate.

  4. Relax. You do enough, you have enough, you are enough. Everything in life is either good, or makes you stronger.


P.S. once the Valentine’s chocolates go on sale be sure to

treat yo self