Teen Self-Esteem Month


Katie Steele, Writer

You may have heard that May is Mental Health Awareness month, but I bet you did not know it is also Teen Self-Esteem Month. While this is related to mental health, teen self-esteem is a much more specific topic. It focuses on how teens think of themselves, including their body image and general personality.

Being a teen is already an extremely difficult time. Adding on all the pressures of school, social life, and media can make it much worse. Teens are bound to make at least one mistake, which can kill their confidence. In a survey of some students attending Bob Jones High School, 80% said they have experienced some sort of self-esteem issue at some point in their teen years so far. These issues include overall confidence, body image, and their opinion of themselves. One of the most major is body image, especially since social media portrays an impossible-to-reach beauty standard. There are fake, edited images that teens may believe are real, which causes them to feel insecure.

In an interview with the Bob Jones Enrichment Counselor Courtney Burns, she stated that some of the reasons teens experience esteem issues are unsupportive caregivers, lack of social support, stressful life transitions, trauma, abuse, loneliness, bullying, and poor performance academically, as well as many more.

While teens experiencing this self-doubt may feel hopeless, there are some ways they can boost self-esteem.

In the survey mentioned above, I asked the students if they had any advice on boosting self-esteem. One student said, “Having people around you that are positive and help you whenever you’re struggling can really boost your self-esteem.” This can help with confidence in making decisions. It may be small encouraging words, but they go a long way.

Another student said, “Distancing yourself away from a lot of social media (because) it can be very toxic for a person who needs a lot of validation to be happy with themselves.” This could especially help people with body image issues.

A different student stated that you should not call someone out when you notice their self-esteem is low. This might make things worse, especially if it is in front of an audience. If you want to help someone, make sure you talk to them privately and that you know they can be comfortable in sharing their thoughts with you.

If you are struggling with self-esteem issues, Ms. Burns recommends trying to make positive affirmation statements when you need them. For example, if you do not do as well as you thought you would on a test, say “I will do better next time,” so that you have the confidence to do so.

Self-esteem is a common issue, especially in teens, and is caused by many factors. However, many things can boost it. This teen self-esteem month, take some time to try and implement these helpful boosters into your daily routine.