Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
A spirit that is not afraid

COLUMN | Tips to combat body image issues in college

<p>Graphic displaying a list of tips for handling body image issues as a college student.</p>

Graphic displaying a list of tips for handling body image issues as a college student.

Being a junior in college and living alone while battling mental health issues is extremely challenging.

No longer having a guardian or parent by my side to help guide me through my emotions has encouraged me to change as a woman. Transitioning from high school to college has taught me that I need to love myself unconditionally. 

Cue the infamous song “2 Be Loved” by Lizzo.

In this world, it seems like beauty standards and body images are impossible to achieve. Trends are constantly evolving and the critics on social media are ruthless, leaving people feeling like their looks will never be enough. 

I recently tried out for a club at Auburn University that bases its values on looks and confidence. Awaiting my audition results, I felt so confident about being accepted into this club. Excitedly waiting for the positive acceptance email, I sat by my computer all weekend expecting good news. I never received it. 

Instead, I got the complete opposite of what I was expecting. I got denied acceptance. 

My heart broke. I was so embarrassed that my presence wasn’t good enough for the club board at my own university. My demeanor immediately sunk into a pessimistic attitude. I questioned my body's existence and my self-worth. 

I remember breaking down in tears and disappointment with a loved one. The advice that I was given was “God does everything for a reason.” I began to have flashbacks of past rejections I experienced that helped me grow as an individual. 

No matter what you hold true or choose to put your faith in, believe that everything is working out for your good. 

Every day I try to change my negative thoughts into something positive. Instead of worrying about my body image, I speak positive affirmations to myself in the morning when I wake up. This reminds me that art is subjective, and so is my beauty. 

I challenge you to do the same.

It’s not a fact that we’re not naturally beautiful the way we’re born. It is an opinion, and the only person whose opinion about your body matters is yours. 

There are many ways that you can begin to battle your insecurities.

One way is to come up with a goal sheet. Start imagining those attributes about yourself you would like to change and how. List ways you can work towards accomplishing your goals.

You can also battle your insecurities by working to remember that healing is not immediate but an everyday process. Give yourself grace because every day your feelings will be different. 

Another important thing to remember is that the student counseling and psychological services here at Auburn University are here for your aid, and you can always take advantage of the professional help that is provided to you. 

The opinions expressed in columns and letters represent the views and opinions of their individual authors. 

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Auburn Plainsman delivered to your inbox

These opinions do not necessarily reflect the Auburn University student body, faculty, administration or Board of Trustees. 

Jakai Spikes | Writer

Jakai Spikes, senior in Journalism, is a writer at The Auburn Plainsman. 

Share and discuss “COLUMN | Tips to combat body image issues in college” on social media.