They see me as a happy person. I see the world optimistically but recently it has changed.

Sometimes, I lose my mind with school-related problems. I get lost. I feel fear, anxiety, and stress. I feel overworked, and symptoms of it signed off my vulnerability and weakness. I'd look at the culture of heavy workloads mixed with extracurricular activities and think "if they can do it, then so can I!" But this stopped being my go-to motto because, to be honest, I was developing an unhealthy lifestyle (sorry, mom whoops). I wasn't eating enough. I wasn't sleeping enough. I felt drained out that I didn't feel like myself. The energy I dearly took care of was suddenly not there for me.

Knowing that I was draining myself out was one thing. Doing something about it was another.

It was intimidating having to "give up," but was it really giving up- or was it advocating for myself? I say the latter. Be proud of taking care of yourself.

Be proud of the small moments.

Be proud of practicing dance routines that you struggled with the first time you learned it. Be proud of saying "love" and meaning it. Be proud of the friendships that made you laugh, wholesome, drunk, and overall incredibly happy. Be proud of the parents who would cut up an apple into wedges and give them to you as a study snack. Be proud of learning from failure.

Everyone goes at their own pace, something that my friends have told me time and again. It's hard to accept it because we all just want to get to the finish line, but aiming for the prize would make us forget the journey. Yes, be proud of the big accomplishments, but why limit yourself to the prize? They say to go "infinity and beyond," and I think you should. Going there with your mind appreciates the goodness around us, like seeing the billions of stars at night. It makes the small things matter the most.

We have the capacity to think and learn. To believe and to do. To have faith and to be patient. To feel inspired. To dream.

So, "don't just fly, soar!" (Disney).