To be completely transparent, I was dreading August fifteenth. This marked the first day of my junior year. Because I was expecting a gradual transition from summer to fall, I was disappointed, to say the least, to find that that was not the case. With seven tests within the first seven days, I was consumed with stress and overwhelming responsibility. Not achieving immediate success when I devoted a great deal of time to an assignment is hard to accept, as well. Regardless of expectations set for yourself, the experience of failure can evoke feelings of doubt and frustration.
In addition to academic obstacles, the social aspect of school may be even more terrifying. It is hard to feel invisible and to not understand where you fit in. I feel these emotions and they cause my insecurities to surface.
What I am about to divulge is easier said than done; however, I have spent a lot of time allowing myself to surrender to the challenges encountered. I spend a lot of time wondering what my purpose is and asking myself what I am doing wrong. We can either choose to embrace that feeling or to provide yourself with self-care. Self-care looks different for everyone. I release my frustrations and struggles into writing music and singing. I feel content by volunteering and seeing someone smile because of something I gave to them. I encourage you to look for this in your life. It is easy to give up; however, choosing to find your passions makes you strong and capable. The truth is you cannot always rely on other people to make you feel happy or wanted. When you feel useless, it a responsibility you can take on to give yourself a use.
I am by no means telling you that this year is going to always be smooth sailing and full of constant success. Facing challenge is the only way to learn from it and gain wisdom. A lot of people spend high school waiting for the day they can escape. I admit that I am guilty of this. I wonder, however, why I allow myself to throw away however many years of my life I spend here and how much different my life would be if I did not embrace the feelings of shame and regret. We begin to define who we are every time we return to a center of education. I want to be someone I am proud of and to never look back at my life wishing I had done this or that. So, this year I beg you to be the change that you want to see and take risks. This is going to be your year if you believe it will be!
By Teen Line Listener, Caitlin