I'm an 18-year-old girl who is a senior in high school who can tell you that the journey to graduating is not an easy one. Some people will have it easier, but it won't be a perfect and fun ride. There were a lot of obstacles that I went through, whether it be physical or emotional or mental. You may go through a phase where there's no point in trying anymore and it's because students tend to think their life revolves around their grades. Believe me, I went through this and I still do from time to time and I'm not going to lie, it's hard. You will feel depressed, frustrated, tired and lonely. To get over these obstacles was the challenging part. I like to think of high school as a place where you start to learn who you are and where you will start finding good friends. It's kind of like the part where the concrete in your life is drying, but not yet solidified. So, there will be times where impressions are made in that concrete and you are trying to get rid of them, and some will stay, but some won't.
Over the years, I experimented on ways to help myself when I wasn't able to go to friends or family. Sometimes all these obstacles got too much and I started feeling very stressed and everything just started going downhill, getting worse and worse, to the point where I wanted to give up. So, in order to make myself feel better and increase my mental stability, I started making lists.
Making lists? It doesn't sound that hard. Believe me, being in a bad state of mind in high school, or at any time, it's a very hard thing to do. This can actually work for anyone. You don't have to be in school to do this, because it works for me in any situation that is not school-related also. You also don't have to do all of them. If you feel better after doing one or two, then don't worry about the others. You can always do them at another time.
Make a list of all the things that you love about life
This is an easy one to do. You list anything that makes you happy, feel good or things that you just love. Write down things that make you love the life you're living or just about life in general. For example, I would put down sunsets, books, huskies, Samoas, cheese, music, wind, falling leaves, snow and so on. If it puts a smile on your face, you would write it down and take as long as you need to. You don't want to rush yourself. If you find yourself feeling better, you don't have to continue on with the rest of the lists. The beauty of this first list is that there's no end to it. Everytime you write things down for this list, there will always be something new to add to it.
Make a list of all the people who care about you
This might actually be the hardest one and for me it was. When you have to think of people who care about you, all your insecurities start flying out. You start wondering if that person actually cares, so I started by taking it slow. One person at a time. If you can't think anyone, I can guarantee you that there's more than you think. It takes a lot to admit to yourself that someone actually cares because realistically speaking, you never know. So, take it one person at a time. When I first started, I was only able to put my parents down, but as time went on, I would put other people too: friends that I know that I can trust and vice versa and cousins that I can go to because they are willing to help me. Even though this is the hardest list to make, it's also the most eye-opening one, because it got me to realize all the people who are in my life that I can go to when in need.
Make a list of all your dreams
This is one is easy if you actually thought about it, like me. You're basically going to list all your hopes and dreams. What you want to be when you get older, if you want to start a family, have kids, where you want to live, where you want to travel, what your dream wedding will be like, if you want to have any pets, etc. So for me, I want to move back to Canada, buy an apartment near my grandparents house, have a pet, work in a bookstore, work as a music teacher, get a master's degree, maybe get married, and if they want to, my parents will live with me and I want to travel to a lot of places. This is only the beginning. I have ranted to friends and family and spend hours writing about it because when you start this list, it actually becomes fun to do. I'm not sure why, but I love creating my future. Maybe it's because I have a shot at making it come true. There's a sliver of hope that weaves into your mind when you start doing this list because you get an idea of what you're working towards and it raises your spirits to help you get out of the negative wormhole.
Make a list of all of your favorite things about yourself
Lastly, you're writing about all the things that you love about yourself. When you're in a negative thinking space, you tend to think only bad things about yourself, but as you write one thing you like about yourself, that one will turn to two and just keep increasing from there. It will open up the positive side to yourself and hopefully make you feel better about yourself. For me, I like my stubbornness, hands, optimism, weirdness, craziness, the ability to be understanding, being empathetic, wanting to read and listen to music all the time, my singing, my ability to dance, and as weird as it may seem my dark side because no one has seen it. It could be your personality, what you like to do, or anything that has to do with you. It could things that are bad but you consider good or a compliment that someone gives you. If you like it, you put it down.
Giving up is not worth it. You have to look towards your future and hopefully doing these lists will help you realize that. There will be brighter days in the future.