Humans of SD – Justine Ruedas

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“I mean, it took me so long to actually like myself. During middle school, not a fun experience, would not recommend, I wasn’t necessarily bullied, per se, but I wasn’t a popular person, y’know? And, even if I had a huge amount of self-confidence, being around people who don’t agree with you 6 hours a day, 5 days a week isn’t a great self-esteem booster. So, despite what I told myself, I still didn’t think I looked pretty. Freshman year was better. My self-confidence was slightly larger than what it had been, but still not great. Oh my god, and then the pandemic, I focused on myself and got rid of all of the toxic-ness, and I actually learned to think I’m pretty. I could take a picture of myself and be proud of my appearance. I could say, ‘You know what, Justine? You look really freaking good today,’ and not feel like it was a façade. And, of course, you’ve helped me make sure I don’t slip, but it’ll take more than some words to make me go back to that place. She’s actually happy now. I mean, thank you, I guess…” –  Senior, Justine Ruedas.