Do you know yourself? No, like do you actually know yourself? I will be the first to admit that I never really knew myself as much as I thought I did. Understanding yourself is important to know before entering any further into this self-growth column. Now before I unleash these life-changing tips on ways to get to know yourself, I should probably introduce myself. How could you take advice from someone you don’t know? You don’t.

Hey, my name is Tee. I’m a student here at Gannon, and I work for The Edge. I’m a junior here double majoring in public relations and advertising communications. I also minor in both marketing and journalism. I am also a member of this school’s Black Student Union, although we normally just call it BSU.  If you can’t tell by now, this column is pretty laid back and conversational. With that being said, I have a very busy schedule with my classes, work, and club membership, so being able to discuss something as important as self-growth is mutually beneficial. Here I will talk about the best ways to reach who you are called to be: AKA, your best self. I am also interested in different ways to physically improve the body and soul! So, if you’ve ever heard of Carrie Bradshaw, I am her, for you. Well,  I am the catholic university version (; 

This column will consist of me discussing a topic regarding self development. Am I an expert? No. Do I have some fresh insight to being the best you possible? Yes. If you have a goal to grow as a person, here is what you can do:                 

Step 1: Learn From Your Surroundings

We get to know ourselves through the people we surround ourselves with. Look at your friends and see what type of people they are. Look at if you’re similar to them or if you differ from them. How is the energy? Do you feel different depending on how they feel? Get a good understanding of who your friends are and what about them makes you better or worse. Being able to know why you surround yourself with the people you do will show means of who you are and ultimately how to please yourself. This isn’t just a one-time thing; this step is continuous. As we grow older, our friend groups tend to evolve. Even more so, acquaintances evolve; mine sure do. Questions to ask yourself are; what about them do I like, what about them has influenced me, and do they have a positive or negative influence on me? Get those answers and fully understand them to follow the next step.

Step 2: Trial & Error

This means allowing yourself to mess up. It is okay to not be happy with yourself at this all day every day. Heck, this is a step I have to come back to from time to time to rekindle the relationship with myself. I have to learn to allow my emotions to be emotions and not triggers for actions. I need to be able to do different things outside of my comfort zone to examine the effects it has on me in the long run. It is an extensive path, but totally worth it! Try something as small as taking a morning walk to see how that affects your day. Maybe if you already take walks in the morning then try taking a different route. Trying writing your feelings at night or express your day through paper, which might help you open up even to yourself. Please know that all these tips might not work for you. That is where you allow the error to come into play. It is okay for writing to not be your thing. It’s okay for you to not be a morning person or just not wanting to walk. Committing to the process long enough to figure that out is the key. Allow yourself to try these things and later not feel any benefit from it. That is where you can mark it as a true error. Even then you grew knowledge about yourself because now you know something about yourself that you couldn’t confirm or reference in the past.

Step 3: Be Alone

You will never be happy if you can’t find it within yourself! You should be and remain your first priority; being alone can help that. When I say alone, I mean taking time to yourself in productive ways. Finding the right way to be present in your own present. I don’t mean to watch Netflix and chill by yourself. I mean to be productive! This could be as simple as lighting a candle and putting a face mask on. Unwinding is my favorite form of me-time. When I am alone nowadays, I light a candle, put a face mask on, clean my apartment, and then take a shower. I do a whole pamper routine to end up in my chair reading my book, writing for you all, or doing some homework to R&B music in the background. That is about three and a half hours dedicated to me. Now, this helps me understand what I need from myself in the personal care department. Do I need to shave my legs? Do I need to wash the dishes? Is my air diffuser in need of a cleanse? Am I organized for school? These are all things that require attention, and alone time is the perfect time to get them done. I challenge you, the person reading this, to carve out at least an hour every day this next week and dedicate it to ‘Me Time’. This is your time to unwind and allow your personal needs to come first!

Now, I like to think these three tips aren’t too hard to do if you are dedicated to your own self-understanding. Hopefully, this gives you all a good basis on how to grow as individuals! Welcome to The Elements of Self Development! Have a great Friday, and see ya next week!