2011 Scholarship Entry #48: Nicole Schartner

One of the greatest pressures and stresses in this striving, economic world is; self image and self worth. No matter your age or whether you are in school or the workplace ones appearance seems to play a large part in defining who you are. Although our culture seems to be fixated on this, I would like to see what I can do to change this or at least make people aware.

Each morning, we get up and get ready for the day. Not only do we want to look presentable, but we want to look our best; have the best hairdo, wear the nicest clothes and use as much makeup as we need to cover any unwanted blemishes. If we don't we feel unnoticed and even unworthy. I am not completely ignorant of these practices to look presentable, yet I do not hold a high value on outward presentation. Our value and being should not be judged by how we look but more so how we act, communicate and socialize. The heart and soul are our major indicators of who a person really is. Each day I try and let my coworkers, friends, family and people I meet that they are special or unique in ways. From anything as simple as compliment on their attitude, a job well done or a, "you look great!"

Many people that struggle with issues of self worth need their confidence boosted. I like to remind people that it says in Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God He created them. Each one of us was specially designed, we were fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalms 139:14. Another great way to boost someone's self esteem is just simply to befriend them, to show them that someone cares and doesn't judge them in vain. For me, listening is a skill that I use quite often. Most people just need someone to talk to, someone to safely unload emotions and troubles on.

One thing in my life that I do stress upon is healthy eating and exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I like to monitor my eating habits, choose healthier foods and spend my time getting active. In most cases there is more motivation to do this when you have the influence of another person with you. I like to invite others with me when I go to the gym, for a jog, biking, hiking or even just a walk. Getting active and eating right helps improve your body functions, metabolism, energy levels, skin and just helps you feel better. I find that when I am active and fit, I not only feel better about myself but also feel more ambitious and full of life.

My goal is to use all of these techniques in showing students and people around me how beautiful they truly are. By helping them love their God given bodies they will develop a renewed spirit of who they are. Then, they too can pass on their joy for the simplicity of life and spread the true bliss of being who you were made to be.