You Can Breathe.
Start writing a post

Drop The Pencil And Breathe

Learned a little thing called "self-advocacy," and it's pretty amazing.

Drop The Pencil And Breathe
Fatima Cuenco

Why did I hate myself so much? One time, I went to a leadership workshop that addressed the stress that came with being a student leader. As an intern for my school's student government at that time, no part of me considered myself a leader; but the invitation was enough for me to feel welcome.

It wasn't until then that I realized how mean I was to myself, with the main culprit as comparing myself to others. I was mean in that, I set up these unrealistic goals, like waking up at 5 AM to read- only to wake up a failure. I liked seeing my Google Calendar filling up with so many colors- it made it feel like I was doing more than academics, that I was being involved. The reality of this, however, was that I was forcing myself into these things because I thought I had to catch up on three years worth of experience. The villain in me said I was not enough- that everyone else was doing a lot, and I was not. How silly was I?

I kept feeding myself all these things that took away my focus from my academics to ease this part of me. Coming in as a transfer, there was only a bit of time for me to catch up on three years worth of experience. This was my thought process; and while I was thankful for the experiences I was given, I wish I focused on my academics more. I wish I was able to settle into the system. All I knew was to keep pushing myself, that there was no way there could be something wrong with my mental health. I didn't grow up in a household that talked about mental health; so, there was no way for me to tell if there was something wrong up there.

Maybe there was, and maybe there wasn't; but in the case that there might have been, I wouldn't have known. I thought all these constant worries were nothing, that I would get over them the next day as always. I wouldn't have known that I was overworking myself. I wouldn't have known that what I was doing was too much, that I always had to please others before taking care of myself. It was scary saying, "no" because I always feared disappointing others; but I didn't know I could prioritize myself- advocate for myself.

I think part of taking care of yourself is learning about your weaknesses- it makes sense, just wait! Yeah, it sucks that we can be vulnerable; but bish, even Superman wasn't perfect. Accepting that there was something wrong meant I was driving myself to self-advocacy and overall...self-respect-- something I thought I was already doing; but I learned that I wasn't doing it well enough. I could talk about mental health, but that's a topic worth a different article. There's just this culture in college that tries to compare you to other students, and it really sucks! Don't listen to it! Don't you dare! Stop being mean to yourself.

As I always remind myself recently: you are loved. You are so, so, so loved.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Unlocking Lake People's Secrets: 15 Must-Knows!

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

Group of joyful friends sitting in a boat
Haley Harvey

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people.

Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lots of people sat on the cinema wearing 3D glasses

Ever wonder what your friend meant when they started babbling about you taking their stapler? Or how whenever you ask your friend for a favor they respond with "As You Wish?" Are you looking for new and creative ways to insult your friends?

Well, look no further. Here is a list of 70 of the most quotable movies of all time. Here you will find answers to your questions along with a multitude of other things such as; new insults for your friends, interesting characters, fantastic story lines, and of course quotes to log into your mind for future use.

Keep Reading...Show less
New Year Resolutions

It's 2024! You drank champagne, you wore funny glasses, and you watched the ball drop as you sang the night away with your best friends and family. What comes next you may ask? Sadly you will have to return to the real world full of work and school and paying bills. "Ah! But I have my New Year's Resolutions!"- you may say. But most of them are 100% complete cliches that you won't hold on to. Here is a list of those things you hear all around the world.

Keep Reading...Show less

The Ultimate Birthday: Unveiling the Perfect Day to Celebrate!

Let's be real, the day your birthday falls on could really make or break it.

​different color birthday candles on a cake
Blacksburg Children's Museum

You heard it here first: birthdays in college are some of the best days of your four years. For one day annually, you get to forget about your identity as a stressed, broke, and overworked student, and take the time to celebrate. You can throw your responsibilities for a day, use your one skip in that class you hate, receive kind cards and gifts from loved ones and just enjoy yourself.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments