The annoyingly bright light filtering through the blinds wakes you up even before your alarm is supposed to go off. Your curse under your breath because you keep forgetting to replace your mismatched curtains, which you removed thinking you would find the perfect shade of gray but which you never replaced. You lay there in silence, hoping to fall back asleep but knowing that you can't because you have a full day of responsibilities ahead of you. You wish you could just pretend that these responsibilities didn't exist, and you'd give anything to be able to sleep for an entire day. You haven't even gotten out of bed yet but you're already exhausted.
Suddenly you hear the screech of your alarm, immediately cutting into the morning silence and making you feel more miserable than you already had. You try to ignore it for 5 minutes, but once it goes off again you can’t stand the sound any longer and you muster all your strength to get out of bed. You’re still groggy after showering, and in an attempt to boost your mood you slip on a pair of jeans and a nice top. You look in the mirror and detest the reflection staring back at you, so instead you change into a pair of leggings and a sweatshirt because if you’re going to be miserable for the whole day then you might as well be comfortable. You go downstairs to make a cup of coffee, the only thing you look forward to in the mornings.
You arrive at school and the black cloud above your head still has not lifted. You realize that you forgot one of your sketchbooks, you almost left your keys inside of the car, and you dropped your water bottle multiple times in the parking lot. Your backpack gets heavier and heavier with each step you take, the straps digging into your shoulders because your laptop weighs a million pounds. You encounter some acquaintances in the hall, and are already dreading the hollow “How are you?” because you already know you’ll have to respond with an equally empty "Good," even though you’re actually not feeling that way at all.
You’re actually feeling like you’re going to burst into tears, because you are feeling so many things yet you can’t articulate a single one. The only thing getting you through this awkward conversation is knowing that you only have to keep the phony smile plastered on your face for a little bit longer, and once they walk away you’ll be free to skulk into the bathroom until you muster up more energy.
You’re having a hard time paying attention in all of your classes. You’re completely lost during lecture, and feeling incompetent because you normally really like school but you are also not understanding anything and you’re afraid to ask questions. You also realize how far behind you already are (and the semester has barely started). It seems like no matter how much you read you still won’t ever catch up. You feel like an impostor; how did you make it to your second semester of your senior year if you still don’t know anything?
You then begin to think about life after graduation, and your fear of the uncertain immediately paralyzes you until you’re on the verge of a panic attack. You somehow keep it together until the end of your lecture, and then you immediately run to the nearest restroom and silently cry your eyes out in the stall. Fortunately you’ve picked one of the least frequented restrooms in the building. You can’t seem to shake this feeling of dread, and your mood matches the gloomy weather. You’re so overwhelmed that you feel like you’re drowning in the dark and freezing waters of uncertainty and responsibility. You’re treading as hard and as fast as you can but your arms are getting heavier and it’s getting harder to breathe.
But you haven’t lost consciousness yet, so you figure you’ll keep treading just for a little longer.