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  • Jamie Donnally

The "S" Word

Life can be stressful, and I think everyone can agree with me on that. Whether we are overloaded with school work, going through an argument with a friend, or just trying to fit in with society. We experience this feeling of being overwhelmed almost everyday, yet, it is so difficult to overcome.

As a child, we didn't have much to worry about. No excessive schoolwork, no high school drama, and definitely no attempt to found out who we wanted to be. Our minds were our playground and we could do whatever we wanted, without experiencing any stressful situations. But as time passed, and we grew older, things changed. Middle school came along and this is where we begin to figure out who we truly are. We find a hobby, friends, and are welcomed into the beginning of our teenage years. Schoolwork was limited, no exams to worry about, no essays to turn in, and absolutely no contemplation about what we want to do with our future. And then high school started. Freshman year. A huge difference from middle school. We became exposed to independence and what it is like to make our own decisions. As a 14 year old, this can be very scary and cause us to experience feelings we have never felt before.

Throughout high school, we realize that our life is just getting started. School becomes heavier, we lose and make friends, and our future becomes a lot closer, whether it is clear or not. As a junior, school is definitely one of the most stressful elements in my life at the moment. Between juggling homework, essays, SAT prep, service hours, and personally, two jobs, I tend to feel very overwhelmed throughout the week. Some days, I put my work to the side and take a deep breath. But then that deep breath turns into many deeps breaths and I end up with more work than I intended to. The stress just escalates more and more, to the verge where I just have to let it all out through crying. Many people consider this as "weak," but expressing your feelings when it comes to your mental health and stress is the MOST important thing to do.

Along with stress from school, we also worry about fitting into the "social norm" of society. As a teenager, we are somewhat forced to take part in this trend of having an Instagram, or we're considered antisocial and weird. And even if we have an account, not only do we have to post, but our images have to receive a certain amount of likes or we feel the need to take them down. Less than 100 likes? Delete. No comments? Delete. Doesn't fit your feed? Delete. Whenever we log into our social media accounts, we are put under stress to fit in with everyone else and maintain a successful "platform." Not only is this ridiculous, but it steers our attention away from the things that are actually important in life.

Unfortunately, stress has become inevitable and the most unwanted companion to this generation. The most crucial thing I want you to take from this is that stress is normal. Yes, it's not good to feel like you have this 400 pound weight on your chest when it comes to thinking about these things or even doing them. But there are many ways to deal with stress and relieve it. You just need to take a deep breath, surround yourself with people and things that make you feel happy and secure, and let that breath out.

#Stress #mentalhealth #anxiety #Support #wellness #SelfCare #thoughts

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