The Holidays are coming up, everything is starting to become overwhelming. College Applications are due, scholarships are quickly closing, finals are coming up, and of course Christmas is right around the corner. Holidays are supposed to be fun and a good break from reality. But, in the back of your mind is the grade you made on the Calculus test and what that girl said about you last week. Christmas is fun, but what about the meeting that you have tomorrow that you aren’t prepared for.
Sometimes it's hard to remember who you are and what you represent. You are more than the Calculus test and more than the rumors that are being spread about you. In the midst of it all, even when it doesn’t feel like it, you are also more than the organizations that you represent. No one said it was going to be easy, because if it was, everyone would be doing it. Sure in about a month you will be back with your grandfather and he will be asking what you have done with your life in the past year, you will laugh and say “nothing much,” as if you haven't been killing it. You feel as though you will never be enough for him, for colleges, for your future. You’re losing sleep, you can’t focus — you’re overwhelmed. This is not what the girls on TikTok told you life would be like. Of course it’s not, this is reality. This is what it looks like to work hard for what you are doing. It doesn’t happen overnight.
In less than a year, you will be moving into college. Maybe it’s not the college you want to go to but it is the most comfortable, or maybe it is your dream school. Wherever it may be, you will be successful. Your senior year is full of lasts. The last time you will live at home full time, the last time you will walk the halls with your best friends, and most importantly the last time you will be a senior in High School. It won’t be the last time you are looked up to, you have endless homework, or you feel overwhelmed. But remember how hard you worked to get there. The Sophomore is looking up to you because they see the impact you are making, they aren’t just being annoying. Your siblings are asking for help because they trust you and your parents have been there for the whole journey, don’t take them for granted. Yes, your mom is being annoying about your college applications and your dirty room. Next year, she won’t be there to tell you to do all of these things.
Everyone is struggling, maybe in the same ways as you, maybe not. Give credit where credit is needed, smile, and wave when you feel like there is nothing left to say. Remember where you started and don’t give up now. Burnout is a real thing, it might be happening to you right now. Pace yourself, celebrate your accomplishments, and recognize all of the good that you are doing. Again, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. You have a purpose, you have a reason to be here, it is your job to discover that purpose. So, as the holidays approach, focus on the good things. Focus on the present and what is happening around you. Don’t stress about a past conversation or a future interview that is coming up. Let your grandmother tell a story that never has an end, recognize that this is also a year that lasts for your family. Give the gifts, enjoy it, you are right where you need to be. Live through your family traditions and eat as many cookies as you want, it’s a holiday. It is a time to enjoy, not a time to stress.
Ava Morgan, Valley View High School, 12th Grade, Instagram - @avacmorgan