Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, brave enough to ask for it
All throughout middle school and high school, I thought that being independent was “cool”. I didn’t believe that I needed others to rely on, and this was mainly because people often assume that growing older means learning to become independent. Although this is true to a certain extent, it is also important to know that there is nothing wrong with asking for help when you absolutely need it. I worked hard during my middle and high school years, but perhaps I worked a bit too hard, because I slowly began to burn out as the years went by. It was during my most personally difficult times that I was also a part of student council. Working with other student council members was when I began to realize that, in fact, it is quite desolate and stressful to try and do everything on your own. Due to my position as president, I was frequently told that it would be important for me to take on full responsibility if there was an issue or if something went wrong. For this reason, I began to pressure myself even more and tried to take control of everything so as not to mess up. However I quickly learned that perhaps one of the most important qualities of being a member of student council or any team is that you must learn the importance of teamwork and working collaboratively. As president or captain, you must learn to assign members to take on certain tasks instead of trying to do everything on your own. As obvious as this sounds, it can be quite difficult for people to do this. Over time I learned to let others take on tasks, and relied on others when things started to become too overwhelming. I also learned that, people ARE in fact willing to help, and all you have to do is ask.
Outside of student council, I learned to talk to teachers when I felt stressed or stuck. Opening up about my personal issues helped teachers understand my situation and in return they were incredibly supportive. I also relied on my friends, perhaps even a bit too much, but I honestly don’t think I would have been able to get through high school if it were not for the numerous times I ran into my friends arms and burst into tears. By allowing myself to rely on others for help and support, I was able to accept the fact that no human is capable of being completely independent no matter how much they try.
When life gets a bit unbearable, it is more than okay to ask for help. It is okay to barge into a teachers room and start sobbing uncontrollably (yes, I have done this). It is okay to miss a class in order to talk to a counselor. It is okay to not be okay. Once you find the strength to ask for help, you will slowly feel yourself become more relaxed and in control of your life.
I would like to end this article by thanking the numerous teachers and students who have helped me get through some rough times. You have given me the strength to push through any future obstacles I may encounter in life, and I hope that I am able to support and help others the way so many of you have done so for me.