Dear stressed high school student: Read this article when you’re sad


Just a relaxing image of some plants and a book- remember not to stress!

Hey love, how are you holding up? Are you safe? Have you eaten?

It’s a weird time right now and there may be a lot of stressful things on your plate. You may feel powerless – like life is rushing at you like a Mack Truck and you can’t dodge it, or that it may be crushing you in the process, but please know that I am so proud of you. 

Even if it’s just for waking up and sitting up in bed, or opening your Chromebook, your existence in this world is so incredibly vital, and you have the strength and power within you to do incredible things in this lifetime.  The world truly hasn’t seen even half of what you’re capable of doing, and you have so many years ahead of you to prove yourself.

I know everyone always says “it’s okay to not be okay”, and even though that saying is true, I want to break it down some more.

For starters, it’s okay to not know what you’re doing with your life. You will figure it out when you’re meant to – that’s one piece of advice I took earlier. It’ll take some time to really figure out what you gravitate towards, and you have more time than you think to really figure it out and come up with a plan.

It’s okay to be anxious about school and how much work you have right now. A lot of the work we’re getting, both online and in-person, feels optional. Taking it one step at a time, and communicating with your teachers about how you’re feeling, is going to help them understand why you may be distant.  A lot of teachers right now are being taught about mental health (Social Emotional Learning) and how it affects teens, and over the past few years, it’s become an important focus. 

I know your bed, a friend’s arms, or anywhere but inside your own head,  is probably where you feel most comfortable and accepted right now, but I promise you will find a way out of the darkness soon. Doing things to take care of yourself, and putting yourself first is important. Sometimes you need to listen to your gut and take some time off to just relax and watch a movie, or make yourself a comfort meal.

It’s okay to cry. Whether it’s a parent, friend or partner telling you to “get over it”, or your brain is telling you it’s not “the right time to be emotional”- if something is bothering you- regardless of your gender, it’s perfectly normal to have your off days and you have the right to express how that is affecting you. 

It’s okay to be alone and want someone to step up and be there for you. Maybe it’s a crush or a friend that you need right now. Maybe a sibling, a parent, or even a pet is what you need. It’s important to surround yourself with positive energy – even if it’s by watching a Youtuber you feel connected with.

Whether it’s drama between friends or teammates, body issues really getting to you, or you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, don’t beat yourself up. Please remember that you are on the right path. Everything happens for a reason, and how you are feeling right now is completely valid. 

You have the right to be upset or confused. Don’t forget that how you are feeling right now is completely temporary. Think of all those times when you were younger where you were overly distraught about losing your favorite stuffed animal or or something like that, and how it doesn’t even faze or affect you now. Whatever is bothering you . . . will pass – time truly does heal all wounds. Try to have faith in yourself,  regardless of how frustrated and upset you may be currently.

Moral of the story is: feel what you need to feel right now in this moment. Allow yourself to be sad. Give yourself that time to heal and figure out why you feel the way you do, and use it as a learning experience. If there’s something positive or growth-based that you can take away from it, take that with you moving forward. Everything will be okay, and one day, you will be happy again.