Everything’s too loud.
Life was smooth sailing until school started to approach. Suddenly my happy, go-lucky attitude got exchanged for stress and sleepless nights. Was junior year really what people made it out to be or was I putting this pressure on myself?
At the end of summer, the topic of where I wanted to go to school started to come up within my family and friend group. I never really gave it much thought. In fact, I tried to avoid the conversation as much as possible. I’ve always wanted to go to college, but the idea was starting to become too real. And too stressful.
On top of that, everyone I know began telling me to try my hardest in school: That this was the year that mattered most. It was the year they wished they didn’t slack. The year that was academically most challenging.
As soon as the usual syllabus days were over, I would study for every upcoming quiz and test and made sure I knew the material before the next class. The only problem with this approach was that I was putting too much pressure on myself to do well. If I didn’t give it my all, I would be a failure, right? An assignment that should have taken me 20 minutes took hours and left me exhausted and frustrated. All the stress and anxiety from school made me want to implode.
All of these worries sounded like a megaphone in my head. Do well in school to get into a good college, to get a good career, to live a good life. But there is time for all of that.
I shouldn’t be so worried about something so much that it affects my life. I was so overwhelmed with my school work that I stopped caring for the things I loved. Everything I had a passion for such as reading and music fell through and eventually so did my efforts in school. While school is important to me, it is also important that I take care of myself.
Mental health is something that should not be swept under a rug. It is a very real concern for us all as we navigate what’s expected of us while balancing what we expect of ourselves. We have to realize our limits and recognize when we need to take a step back or ask for help. We all may not have a plan right now, but in time we’ll figure it out. Life isn’t linear and that’s okay.