Kaylan So

“Loving yourself doesn’t come overnight.”

Kaylan So

“I express myself a lot through my writing and my music. I write small poems and short stories to exercise my brain. My friends and I have a writing group chat to talk about our writing too! I also produce music and working on releasing something soon. I usually write about what it means to be the youth of today and what expectations we carry as youth, especially around the Bay Area. When I was younger, I had difficulties opening up to people and kept a lot of emotions to myself. I never had a healthy outlet to express my diverse emotions. It was sort of like how you pack your emotions into this small suitcase until it inevitably springs open. I didn’t want that to happen because that would make me vulnerable to an ever-judging society. However, writing helped me overcome that. I often read my old writing and I can tell the frustration and hatred I felt for myself and society, compared to the light and positive works I write recently. Writing shaped me to become a more free and and empathetic person that will hopefully positively impact this toxic society. [I recently started a positivity account on Instagram, because] earlier this year, there were a group of middle-schoolers being harassed anonymously on Instagram about their looks. At that age, we are very insecure about mostly everything about us. I was the same age when I was harassed and bullied for being who I am and I never want anyone to experience the things I experienced. Although I learned to love myself from that incident, it can also lead to severe depression and suicide, depending on the person and how they perceive the situation. I wanted to be someone people can look up to and go for help, the person I needed when I was lost and afraid when I was younger. That’s why I started that account, to help support the victims of unnecessary harassment and to apologize to my past self for not being able to help myself at the time. As youth, we go through biological changes with our bodies and our minds. We grow and mature rapidly, often at a different pace than others, which makes us subject to bullying. I think it’s extremely crucial to not only stop harassment, but to also celebrate our differences and what makes us, us. Loving yourself doesn’t come overnight and it’s especially difficult to do it only with yourself. That’s why strangers giving youth an extra push toward the path of realizing the many things you should love about yourself can ultimately save many teens who are depressed and self-conscious. Just because you realize you love yourself doesn’t mean that’s the end. You also mature and become the better version of you. At the beginning of pursuing these outlets, I learned to express and accept myself. I had my ups and downs, of course, but towards the middle, I truly loved myself and learned to not care about what others thought of me. I freed myself from the toxic mindset I had where I had to cater to societal norms. And presently, I’m not afraid to speak up for what’s right despite facing backlash. Because at the end of the day, I’m me and this is who I am. I became more genuine to myself and my friends. To improve further, I want to help others achieve what I did through campaigns and spread the message.  I also run an advice page where people can anonymously submit their troubles for my advice or just to rant to someone in general. Anonymity really helps people reach for help, albeit non-professional help. I’ve been running it for about a year and I received positive feedback so I hope to further this feature and hopefully somehow incorporate it to my positivity account. I hope this inspires someone to love themselves and create a positive impact for others. I am just a regular student who wants to help people and the regular people are the ones who make extraordinary changes.”

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