Self-esteem impacts student success

Travis Underhill

Lydia Flores, Reporter

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Depression, a drop in grades, and lack of sleep– Every teen has had experience with these different things, however very few acknowledge that these things can come as a result of low self-esteem. According to the facts listed on Dosomething.org, 44 % of females and 15% of males in high schools struggle with low self-esteem. This issue not only affects teens everywhere, but can also influences individuals’ school success in a negative way. With increases in Photoshop use and media advertisement this issue only grows worse.

Self-Esteem is defined as how individuals view themselves. It can be impacted by the influence of peers, past experiences, and a person’s role within society. Aerobics and Health teacher Mrs. Jennifer Hilton, has taught at Taylorsville High School for the past 14 years and explained that the best thing the community can do to help improve self-esteem really comes down to the Golden rule. “Treat others like you want to be treated,” she said.

In an interview with high school junior, Rachel Mills, Mills expressed her feelings that bullying can steal a person’s  self-esteem. Recently the school has made a greater effort to eliminate this problem by hosting an anti-bullying week. This week long event included students making pledges to refrain from bullying and a BMX assembly that promoted a bully-free community

Teachers also have an enormous impact upon how students choose to see themselves. Josilyn Bertrand said, “educators are some of the people… we strive most to impress. If a teacher ever says anything bad about me, even if it was a little joke on my behalf, I take it very badly.” In recent interviews with other students, it was found that many share this same opinion. To resolve the problem, students suggested  teachers offer more individualized attention and really get to know their students.

While teachers and peers obviously have an impact upon students’ self-esteem, it ultimately is a choice made by an individual to view him/herself in a positive light.

So what’s the big deal about low self-esteem? Even more importantly, what can be done to help teens combat feelings of self-doubt?

Mrs. Hilton said she’s observed that students with low self-esteem “believe that they will fail… they have a belief that they aren’t good enough.” This attitude greatly impacts how students perform in a class because if they believe they can’t do it they often won’t put forth the effort.

“Set Goals and achieve your goals…find something you’re good at.” Mrs. Hilton suggests this is a great way for individuals to begin developing a healthy self-esteem. Programs such as the Keys for Success Program and student started organizations help teens do this by encouraging them to set high goals and explore their interests.

On an individual level, teens can combat the growing problem of self-esteem by having good friends, finding new interests, and working towards different goals. Students can also improve the problem by not bullying and not using destructive language with one another.

“Our community needs to step up and exercise equality,” said Mills, “because it doesn’t matter who you are, everyone deserves to feel wanted and understood.”

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