A lot of the times, it feels like people who speak for adolescents and how and why they feel the way they do…aren’t adolescents. While some of this makes sense – therapists and mental health experts for example have the background to explain why adolescents may experience the things they do – it can get frustrating seeing news stories and reports talking about what adolescents are going through without actually talking to them.
Everyone has faced tough, personal decisions since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes schools and universities, like the small, private university I attend. Many schools, like mine, are under financial strain, and have decided to risk reopening so that they don’t have to close their doors for good.
For most of us, especially those in younger generations, we likely interact with people on social media as much as we do face-to-face communication, if not even more. It’s both a blessing and a curse to constantly have access to those we care about, and instead of having to arrange plans to meet up with someone to see them, they can simply be a text message, phone call, or DM away.
Throughout my junior year of high school, I was beyond stressed with things coming up left and right. I had jumped from 2 advanced classes to 5 classes, was an officer of several clubs, and had three different extracurriculars after school. I told myself at the beginning of the year before taking the plunge that I could handle it, “It will all be over in a mere 9 months right?” Big mistake.
I came really close to failing a class this spring semester. I’ve never failed a class before, so I ended up associating this one small event with being a complete and utter failure. Ever since then, I’ve been doing my best to challenge that thought and overcome it as best I can.
For many people, taking time to sit back and relax is an essential part of managing their mental health. I however, do not give myself a chance to do that. I have referred to myself as a workaholic and have often said things like “sleep is for the weak” or “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”