College is hard. Keeping up with schoolwork, friends, extracurriculars, and everything in-between seems nearly impossible at times. But there's one college hack that will truly change your life: self-love.

I found self-love at the end of a three month period of intense anxiety and depression. It was a period of time when I could barely eat, sleep, or talk to anyone. After I realized I was worth more than crying myself to sleep every night, my life changed. 

The concept of self-love may be strange and uncomfortable for some, which quite honestly sucks. It was incredibly uncomfortable for me to acknowledge until I finished my first year of college. 

Now, I know I'm not an expert in self-love. But, I do know that I feel better about myself than I ever have before and want nothing more than to share it with the world. I want more people to legitimately feel good about themselves, especially in college where the environment is unfortunately hospitable to feeling down about yourself. 

Shitting on yourself is not productive.

It's so easy to be critical of the parts about yourself that you hate. We all know that scene from Mean Girls where they just list all of the things "wrong" with them. 

This movie seems like an exaggeration, but when you think about it, we've likely all been there. Most of us have looked in the mirror at some point and likely cried because we can't stand what we look like. 

Fabricating something that's wrong about every inch of your body isn't helpful to your wellbeing. Trust me, I've been there too

It's difficult and uncomfortable to say what you like about yourself out loud.

If you try at it everyday, your quality of life (in college and otherwise) will rapidly increase. Next time you can't stop focusing on your insecurities, smile at yourself in the mirror. Smiling at what you see in the mirror is often the best thing you can do for yourself. 

Being confident is a skill everyone deserves to have. When you stop hating on yourself, you will likely recognize a lot more happiness in your life. Loving yourself is cool and makes you productive, hating yourself is polar opposite. Just because everyone else is doing it doesn't mean you should. 

It's incredibly unfortunate that society teaches us to not brag about our accomplishments, especially women. When you verbalize your strengths, you create the opportunity to connect with more people.

Connecting with others is also huge for fostering self-love.

chocolate cake, chocolate, birthday cake, cake
Jessica Citronberg

Having a strong support system is only part of it, but the moment you realize you can rely on other people you know you're headed in the right direction. Loving yourself is enough, but you should feel like others have your back. 

My sister has always been so supportive of me in everything I do. Knowing she supports me helps me feel better about who I am and what I'm capable of. 

Not only is self-love important, but loving each other is equally important.

pizza, cake
Jessica Citronberg

This goes right along with connecting with others. The more we raise others up with positive attitudes, the better we will feel about ourselves. My sister has helped me love myself, and I've helped her in return. 

College is stressful, and there's no better way to hack it than to teach yourself the art and craft of self-love. I've made so much progress in finding myself and becoming a better human being while in college. 

I particularly noticed my self-love growing when there were bumps in the road. Bad grades, mean girls, and enormous amounts of external stress can force you to go back into that place of hating what you see in the mirror.

When you face an obstacle and you're still able to come out on top without breaking down, that's a success in a self-love campaign. Plus, having a community who always has your back is priceless. 

Life may not be fair sometimes, but who cares? That's life. The faster you focus on loving who you are, and recognizing your power, the easier and more fun life will be.