The Truth About Anxiety

I wish that I could tell you that handling anxiety can one day lead to being okay forever. But that’s not the case. Life can still suck. Words sometimes won’t come out. And the sadness can stay for months at a time. There are no simple tips and tricks to fix it. I wish that there was. 

TRIGGER WARNING: In this post there is an in-depth description of the not-so-bright side of anxiety. If this can upset you in any way, please don’t continue. 

Hi. So this post will be a bit different from my other blogs. It’s not something that was really even meant to be broadcasted on the internet. Actually, it is something that was never even supposed to leave the inner workings of my mind. This post is actually from a letter that I was going to send to a close friend that I wrote during a time in my life where nothing was going right. I never planned on sharing it with anyone else, not even the person that the letter was originally for. But now that I’ve had enough time to reflect on it and see how much I’ve changed, I decided to let this small corner of the world get a glimpse into the mentality behind generalized anxiety. 

So, here it is, my written panic attack :

I’m sorry that I’m not me.

That sounds weird. But, it’s true. We both know its true. I’m not the girl that you met. I’m not the same person that was brimming with joy and love. I don’t spend most of my time doing things to make others happy. I don’t even do things to make me happy anymore.

For the past few months, I’ve been empty. Things that used to make me smile don’t anymore. Conversations with old friends don’t bring me joy anymore. Even listening to my favorite song or taking a bubble bath or even doing those stupid breathing exercises that all of the self-help blogs claim to work wonders won’t fix this. I feel like in the place where I used to have all of this bright and swirling happiness there’s just nothing. And it’s stupid. I’m stupid.

I’m stupid.

I used to be happy. I had so much hope for where everything in my life was heading and I had so much love. Love for people, love for nature, love for myself. I had spent so long building myself up from the dark place where I used to be, and now suddenly it’s gone.

The love, the happiness, the feeling of being able to go into social situations and not wanting to cry. Its gone. And I didn’t even see it go. I think that’s the most terrifying thing.  That you can spend so long fixing yourself and working on your mentality and then you wake up and everything that made you feel at peace is suddenly something that petrifies you. How is that even possible? How does everything in your mind change and you don’t even notice until it’s too late?

I truly felt like everything was okay. I thought I had my anxiety managed. And I wanted to have it managed, not just for me, but for you. For any person that is going through anxiety and wants to see a glimmer of hope that one day things will be alright. I wanted to show you that when you get older and when you’re able to surround yourself with people that support you and want you to be okay–you will be okay.

But that’s not the case. Things don’t get magically better. Even when you become older and are given the tools to handle your anxiety, it doesn’t help. Nothing helps.

I’m sorry that I filled your head with false hope. I’m sorry that I acted like I had anxiety all figured out like it was this manageable thing. I’m sorry that I’m not me anymore. I know that I disappeared and shut in on myself. I wasn’t replying to anyone, I wasn’t trying to be in social situations– it’s just half of the people in my life were making more anxious, and the other half were people that would want me to talk about it. And I can’t.

My mom told me that when I was a baby, whenever I would get upset I would get so angry that I would hold my breath until I would make myself pass out. And now, I do the same thing with my words. Whenever something is hurting me mentally, if someone tries to talk to me about it, I’ll hold it in until I explode. And that’s what I’m doing now. I’m bottling everything inside even though I know I shouldn’t just because I don’t want everyone to see how far I have fallen. I feel like I’m supposed to have it all figured out– but I don’t. I don’t think I ever will have it all figured out.

And for that, I can’t be more sorry. I wish that I could tell you that handling anxiety can one day lead to being okay forever. But that’s not the case. Life can still suck. Words sometimes won’t come out. And the sadness can stay for months at a time. There are no simple tips and tricks to fix it. I wish that there was.

But in reality, anxiety is like getting your gas pedal stuck while driving down the highway. You can do small remedies to try and fix it momentarily the car is still flying at an uncontrollable speed and everything else around you kind of blurs while you sink into the feeling of panic that nothing can be done to save you from the feeling.

I wish someone would save me from this feeling.

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And that’s that. That’s the letter that I wrote to one of my closest friends and never ended up sending. I chose not to send it for several reasons. The biggest reason being that I knew she is struggling with anxiety too, and I didn’t want her to see me fall. I felt like me giving her what was going on in my mind and showing her how life wasn’t as good as I made it out to be would be damaging for her. The other reason was because it felt too raw. The night when I wrote that letter, I was in my second week at a college hundreds of miles away. I hadn’t made new friends, I was still mourning the death of a close family member, and all of the change that was happening at that point in time was too much to handle. 

But with time, things got better. I got adjusted to college, found a group of friends to feel more at home even though I was nowhere close to my actual home. I also chose to distance myself from things that gave me more anxiety and I have forced myself to ask for help.

I just want to make it clear that I didn’t post this to make others who have anxiety to feel discouraged. Yes, anxiety is a lifelong journey that has many ups and downs. Yes, you will have times where you feel like the ups don’t exist anymore. You might find yourself spiraling in the way I was when I wrote that letter. And that’s fine. But the important thing is that you keep in your mind that there always is hope for a brighter tomorrow. Just in the way that you may wake up and suddenly feel down, you can also do that and feel okay. The tips for helping your anxiety might not always work, and some days you might want to lock yourself away from everyone else. But just remember, you’re not alone. You’re not the only person that has felt that way. And if you ever need to talk to someone about the mess that can consume your mind due to anxiety– you can always confide about it on the internet.

Thank you so much for reading through this whirlwind of a post. Leave a comment below if you have ever went through something similar to this, or if it has given you more of an insight of what anxiety actually is.

Be sure to follow to stay up to date with my misadventures in life, college, and anxiety.

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Eternally Single

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes pushing a baby carriage. This is supposed to be the general outline of an adult life. 

But what happens if you can’t even find love?

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes pushing a baby carriage. This is supposed to be the general outline of an adult life.

But what happens if you can’t even find love?

No, I’m serious. What if you genuinely seem to be incapable of loving another person in a romantic way? What if you have spent the entirety of your life being single and honestly don’t see that changing anytime soon? What are you supposed to do, invest in cat toys?

And, as a quick disclaimer, I want you to be aware of the fact that this is in no way me making a half-assed ploy to lure someone into loving me. Because I truly don’t know if I am made for love. This is no way a self-depreciating statement, either. I just honestly find myself to be too independent and too unwilling to let myself fall in love when I have other important things to do like build up my resume, maintain my GPA, and prepare for a future where I can be happy and successful. I’m not writing this to have comments saying “don’t worry, love will come your way soon!” or “Don’t be so hard on yourself! Love will come at the time when you least expect it!”

I haven’t expected love in the last nineteen years of my life, and it hasn’t made it’s advances to me. And honestly, I’m happy with not being loved.

There’s something in my brain that just makes me feel this adverse reaction to love. When someone shows genuine affection or attraction to me, I feel repulsed.

Seriously.

Love repulses me. And that’s like the opposite of what I should feel. So. There’s that.

And, no, I’m not saying that there is not a chance that there might be someone to come into my life and change my entire outlook. There is definitely a chance of that happening, and as I have learned from the great philosopher, Justin Bieber, you should “never say never.” But right now I seriously cannot see myself falling in love.

I feel like I’m at the point of my life where there are so many things up in the air. I mean, I am in the first breaths of being an adult, and I quite honestly don’t think I am a balanced enough of a person to be able to prioritize myself as well as a partner. In this certain era of my life, I have some serious questions to answer. I have to figure out what I want to do as a career, where I want to live, and learn how to manage adult things like taxes and health insurance. And don’t even get me started on how much money it takes to provide myself the bare essentials like food and water and wifi. At this point, I am a minimally functioning adult with a lot of learning left to do. I can hardly take care of myself and keep myself happy. How can I provide for a partner too on top of that?

And I know that having someone to love might release some of my stress, but I just genuinely can’t see myself loving someone. Every time I get emotionally close to someone, I feel consumed with this need to push them away. Also, in this day and age, it is increasingly hard to be a virgin in a relationship. Especially if you don’t plan on losing your virginity anytime soon. But that’s a whole other blog post.

I think at this point in time, I am just confused. Love is confusing. Everyone around me seems to be on the prowl for their future husband. Or for their next lay. But either way neither of those things interest me. And I know everyone says that I will find love when I’m ready, but what if I am never ready?

What if love just isn’t for me? What happens then? Am I destined to live a life that is akin to every Tina Fey movie ever where everyone around me thrives and finds love and I funnel my entire life into my job because it is my only sense of purpose? Seriously, what happens?

Society acts like a woman’s only purpose is to fall in love and have children. But what about the women that are happier being single? Do I have no purpose anymore?

I wish I could find the answers to my questions. But it’s not like you can just go online and say “Hey Google, I am a coldhearted idiot who seems to be incapable of loving. Fix me!”

So, that’s why I’m writing this. Is there anyone else who is eternally single too? Did someone think that they were destined to be single forever but then their soulmate came in and changed everything? Should I try to force myself into dating even though I hate it?

Seriously, what am I supposed to do?

Woes of a Child Prodigy

They told me I was smart, they told me that I was destined for greatness. All because I bubbled in correct answers on a standardized test. I understand that she said those things to motivate me, to push me onto the correct path. But all she really did was put an obscene amount of stress on a child’s shoulders. My teachers, family, and classmates looked at me like I was ‘advanced,’ and I believed it. I took every word that she said to heart and tried to be the prodigy that she painted me out to be.

But what she forgot to forewarn me of is that every human inevitably has to fail.

When I was six years old, I was pulled out of my math class and was told that I was ‘special.’

They talked about my subpar test scores, and for the first time in my life I had the mentality that I was supposed to be perfect drilled in my head. My teacher spoke to me in words that were too large for my young self to fully understand, but I walked out of her small office with an entirely new outlook on life.

They told me I was smart, they told me that I was destined for greatness. All because I bubbled in correct answers on a standardized test. I understand that she said those things to motivate me, to push me onto the correct path. But all she really did was put an obscene amount of stress on a child’s shoulders. My teachers, family, and classmates looked at me like I was ‘advanced,’ and I believed it. I took every word that she said to heart and tried to be the prodigy that she painted me out to be.

But what she forgot to forewarn me of is that every human inevitably has to fail.

Everybody screws up, that is just part of life. But when you are told from a very young age that you are special and above average, failure simply does not seem like an option for you. Any grade that is not a hundred makes you feel like you should be doing more. Any question that you might have should be left unsaid because it is expected of you to understand everything at a faster rate than everyone else. This mentality of expecting for yourself to be better than you actually are makes you spiral quickly into failure.

And when you fail, it feels like you are doing more than just failing yourself. You feel like you have let down your parents, your teachers, and your peers. It’s a harsh fall from superiority to realizing that nothing about you makes you any more special than anybody else. And while it does help you gain perspective about life that every person has something that makes them special in some way, it can still hurt you greatly.

The transition from knowing that you are something special to realizing that you are nothing has caused for an increased spike in teenage depression in the past few years. This flawed system of dividing kids at a young age due to their academic performance has created an environment that builds stress for children on both sides of the spectrum.

Why was there never a lesson where the teacher explained that every person has the capability to be extraordinary, and that academics is not the most important aspect of one’s personality? When will we not feel confined to the labels we were given at a young age?

Being a child prodigy was not easy, especially now that I am an average student at best. But being on the opposite side of the spectrum was not easy for those students either. I get aggravated with myself for not living up to everyone else’s expectations, but I know on the other side that the ones who were labelled as below-average are proud of themselves for not confining themselves to the expectations they had years ago.

I believe that this means that, overall, we should not define ourselves to others expectations. Part of growing up is realizing that you’re going to mess up, but also that sometimes you will succeed. How you performed on a standardized test in first grade does not define the person that you are now, and it shouldn’t.

The only thing that should define who you are is yourself.

An Honest Letter for High School Seniors

As May quickly approaches and the life that you were so familiar with is coming to an end, you can’t help but to ask yourself: what now?

As May quickly approaches and the reality of the fact that the life that you have lived for the last thirteen years is about to end, you can’t help but to worry.
For the majority of your life, you have been told how to feel, how to dress, what to eat, and even when to use the bathroom. You were discouraged from being too expressive, and might have even gotten in trouble for trying to make decisions for yourself. The schooling system is extremely robotic and honestly exhausting, but you cannot help but to feel a crushing wave of fear once you realize that in a few short months you will be released to the world and nobody will be there to control your every move. The prospect of this freedom can seem both daunting and exhilarating.
For the first time in your life, you can get in a car and drive away for hours if you desire to.
For the first time in your life, you can do ‘adult’ things like buying a house, getting married, and having children without having society judge you for it.
For the first time in your life, you get to choose.
And I know people might act like the only option for you after high school is college. Or they might act like you should immediately enter the workforce. Or they might even tell you that you should get married and start a family because you won’t stay young forever. And any of those things are completely valid options and you should consider everything that interests you, but the most important thing that you can do during this time of your life is to do what makes you happy.
I know that you are scared, that you feel like the choices you make at this very moment can determine your entire future. I know that you might feel that you should be doing one thing to make those around you happy even though something else might draw to you more. I know that you are worried about losing the friendships that you have had for years.
And, here’s a secret that nobody likes to tell us. It is absolutely okay to be scared.
Do you think that our parents knew exactly what they were going to do for the rest of their life when they were seventeen years old? Do you think that your grandparents knew that they would one day spending most of their retirement scrolling through Facebook? Do you think that ANYBODY is 100% certain in the decisions that they make?
Of course not!
We are humans. We make mistakes. We do not know the answer to everything. And I know sometimes it might feel like everybody else around you has their life perfectly planned out, but I promise it is not.
Life is a fluid thing. You might think that you are destined to be a teacher in a middle school right now, but when you go to college and you could realize that you despise education classes. Or you might think that you want to immediately go into the workforce, and find yourself six months later googling online classes to be an engineer. Everything can change in the blink of an eye because nothing is ever set in stone. You can be the happiest you ever been on one day and then experiencing your biggest heartbreak the next.
Not many things are in our control, and that just becomes more evident when you graduate high school and are no longer taking part of a daily routine. But the most vital thing that is in your control is your freedom of choice.
Don’t let the people around you make your decisions in life for you. Look inside your heart, find what makes you feel excited, and chase after that.
Are you going to screw up as you navigate through your life? Of course. Everybody does. Are you going to experience moments where you feel like you are lost and alone? Sadly, yes. But those moments are what makes the times when you’re smiling so hard that you feel like your cheeks are going to break so much more worth it.
I know it can be scary to have this era of your life end, but you need to remember that this is not the end of your life. This is simply just the start of your next chapter.

10 Underrated Things About College

This list exists to help ease any anxiety an incoming freshman might feel, but it is also here to remind you that this experience has given people more than they ever bargained for. Even though you’re broke, stressed, and gaining weight– college is a blast. And here is ten reasons why.

College. It has this daunting presence that every person has to toy with the concept of while going through the trials of adulthood. Just the idea of it can spiral a person into a deep hole of anxiety. Whether you are a senior in high school fearing this big transition or even a current college student who has lost sight of why you should put yourself through this stress, it is important that college has so many amazing qualities that most people take for granted.
This list exists to help ease any anxiety an incoming freshman might feel, but it is also here to remind you that this experience has given people more than they ever bargained for. Even though you’re broke, stressed, and gaining weight– it’s a blast. And here is ten reasons why.

1. STUDENT! DISCOUNTS!

Okay. It is a well-known truth that college students are broke. I mean, how can we not be broke? Tuition is stupidly high and don’t even get me started on the outrageous cost of housing and books. But businesses around campus are there to save the day because they give college students hella discounts for everything from tanning beds to Subway sandwiches. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but that 15% off really helps you out.

2. I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-C-E

Your parents don’t want you to know this but one of the most amazing things about college is that it gives you your first taste of independence. For the first time in your life you get to dictate your choices in life. You choose your major, your classes, your hobbies, etc. But most importantly, you decide how you live your life. You choose when you go home during a night out. You decide on whether you should buy an $8 pizza or splurge at McDonald’s. Nobody is there to tell you to do your homework or clean your room (even though you should do both.)
You are in charge of your life for the first time ever, and it is a really refreshing feeling.

3. [IT] CAN SHOW YOU THE WORLD

And no, I’m not just talking about studying abroad. While, yes, college does offer you the cheapest (and safest) way to visit other countries, but it also introduces you to so many other things in the world. From new foods, exposing you to new cultures, or even learning about global issues– college offers you an unfiltered view of the world around you. People will offer to take you to everything from museums to hole-in-the-wall sushi restaurants and I cannot stress to you how important it is that you seize these chances. This is the point in your life that you should take advantage of the world at your feet. If you can travel, travel. If you can learn, learn. If someone is giving you a shot to make your life colorful– take it.
College will introduce you to so many new things that will make you go wide-eyed with wonder, but it will also help you garner affection for the place that you came from. This is the best place to gain perspective in life, even though people might not always realize it.

4. Naps are Expected

If you are a high school student, you probably think that this is crazy. I mean, you are somehow able to wake up at 7 A.M, have classes nonstop for eight hours, take part in after school activities, and then do homework without even thinking about stopping to take a good nap. This is an impossible feat for college students. If you don’t crash into a nap at least once a week, you must be a robot. College students probably take more naps than infants do. For some reason that can probably be explained with fancy, scientific words– naps are our fuel. If you can’t nap, then you have to ingest obscene amounts of caffeine.
Naps are little practice deaths, and death is something that college students intimately contemplate (especially during midterms and finals) so you shouldn’t be surprised that napping is the cornerstone of a good college student’s life.

5. Nobody Cares

I know this sounds like a harsh statement, but hear me out.
If you whip into your afternoon class fully dressed in pajamas– nobody cares. If you ride through campus on a bike with a snuggie on– nobody cares. If you answer a question completely wrong or fail a test– nobody cares. Do you understand why this is a good thing? You can mess up, make a complete fool of yourself, and fail miserably and nobody will judge you. The most a person will do if you mess up in front of them is highkey relate to you. All college students have had moments where they royally failed or made a complete idiot out of themselves, and they quite simply don’t have the energy to laugh at you for doing the same thing that they have done before. You can cry publicly because we’ve all been there. You can wear a dog collar to class and the most a person will do is compliment you.
Don’t stress yourself out over the opinions of others because quite honestly everyone else is so wrapped up in their own problems and stressors that they won’t care. Believe me.

6. The Library

Most of the incoming freshman come in with the mentality that they will never be caught dead in the library. But believe me, this place is like a little slice of heaven that has been right under your nose the whole time.
If your roommate is annoying you, you can easily hide in the library for a few hours and enjoy some moments of nice solitude and quiet. If you completely forgot about a paper due at midnight and need to perform some type of miracle and finish it within half an hour, the library is the perfect place to focus and force yourself to be a decent student. If you just want to sit around and drink coffee with some friends and talk about literally anything they will more than likely meet you at the library. If you are in dire need of a nap but don’t feel like going all the way back to your dorm, the library provides surprisingly great naps. Also, the library is like an entirely different world during finals week when people give you free Red Bulls while you suffer a mental breakdown simultaneously with a few hundred other students.

7. You mean I can get a _____ for free? BET.

College is basically a haven for free swag. You can walk past a few tables and leave with an armful of free t-shirts, buttons, pens, and coupons for food. Especially in the beginning of the school year, local businesses love to give out random free things to get some promo, and college students love anything that is free. The amount of buttons and pens that I own solely because they were free is insane. In a stressful world filled with piles of homework and assessments, free things provide a little adrenaline boost that get you through the day.

Also, there are other “free” things (i.e. you paid for it in your tuition so you should use it anyways) that a lot of people don’t take advantage of. Colleges often have health centers for both ill people and also for those who are going through a rough time mentally. There are countless offices available to help those who are struggling with finding jobs, facing difficulties with declaring a major, or maybe even feeling out of place because of their sexual orientation or their ethnicity. Also, go to the gym. You’re paying for it anyways, so combat the Freshman Fifteen by going at least once a week. It also helps to relieve stress.

8. There’s So Much Room for Activities

I know that people often make it seem like you won’t have any time for a social life if you want to get good grades in college. When you’re in the midst of orientation or whatever, some person will without a doubt tell you that you need to spend around 25 hours per week studying outside of your classes. And while, yes, studying is good and you should stay on top of your homework, you are not a robot. If you drive yourself mad dedicating your entire life to studies, then you will inevitably burnout and hit a wall and lose all motivation to try. You have to find a balance between studying hard and also having a social life.
For every person this can vary, your idea of being social can mean spending hours watching countless vine compilations. Or, you might be the type of person who needs to have twenty friends and go out every weekend. And while there is nothing wrong with being either type of person, college is the perfect place to build social connections outside of just having ‘fun.’
There are countless clubs that exist that can cater to any type of interest. From watching movies to practicing leadership skills to even LARPing, I am sure that there is a perfect club out there for you somewhere. If you’re interested in being in Greek Life– do it. If your college does not have the club that you wish to join, start your own! Being a part of a club will make you look so much better when applying for jobs later on. I know you might think that you won’t have the time to be in a club, but believe me, you will. Also, clubs are the best places to make friends.

9. A Whole New Family

I don’t know about you, but my biggest fear coming into college is that I would be alone. I was terrfied that I would be unable to cultivate any friendships. I came in with this mentality that everybody would already be part of an assigned clique like it was high school or something and my toxic mind convinced myself that I was going to spend the next four years locked away in my dorm like a modern-day Rapunzel.
That was not the case. Another secret that nobody tells you about college is that everyone is just as petrified as you are. Everyone fears loneliness and failure and sadness. If you think that you are the only person walking onto campus during move-in day with a nervous knot forming in your stomach, then you are very mistaken. Everybody wants to feel less alone, so they reach out to anybody that crosses your path.
There will be people who sit by you and strike up conversations just because they don’t want to seem alone. There will be people who offer to eat lunch with you. Hell, I found myself inviting a girl that I knew for less than a week along to my grocery shopping trip. There will be people who you think that will be your best friends in the beginning of college who will mysteriously disappear (or drop out) and there will be strangers that turn into family in the span of a week. Something about the atmosphere of college makes it feel like you live a thousand different lifetimes in a month. The friends that you will make will be by your side during your first mental breakdown, real heartbreak, and bad test grade. You will have family game nights and Taco Tuesdays and all of the things that you did not expect to have during college. And when you go home for the holidays, you will find yourself missing your new friends terribly within the span of a few days.
You are going to make friends. And they will change your life better. Trust me on this.

10. The Most Important Thing

Even though a lot of people seem to lose sight of this certain thing that makes college worth the money and the stress, it is undoubtably the biggest reason why anyone decides to work towards getting a degree. What is this thing, you ask? A higher education.
We funnel thousands of dollars towards getting a degree because we are passionate about one thing that we are willing to take hours upon hours of courses about it. Even though you might not come into college being completely sure about what you want to major in, you still want to find what fuels your fire. College is there to give you more experience and knowledge, and you should never forget that your education is extremely vital. Your degree
is what will help you get paid later on in life. Some people never get the chance to go to high school, let alone college. If you are able to receive a higher education, it is a total privilege and you should be thankful that you are able to learn more about your passions.

Welcome to the Real World

Do you have zero idea about what to do with your life? Do you feel like you are letting everyone that you care about down?

Welcome to the real world.

For essentially the first two decades of our lives, we are controlled.

Every thought we have, every meal we eat, every choice we make, hell, every time that we use the bathroom was closely monitored by the adults in our lives. We are told to be independent and strive for greatness, but in the same breath we are reminded that if we break any of the thousands of norms that society has established for us, we fail at life. Everyone from our parents to our peers to our teachers are molding us into this codependent human being that feels trepidation before making any type of decision alone. And if we try to break free and make decisions for ourselves that aren’t traditional, we are immediately berated and forced back into the confines of society.

And we don’t complain, because the confines are the only thing that we know.

Until we reach the magic age of eighteen and everything suddenly transforms into a menacing world of self-sufficiency and major life-changing decisions. It is like as soon as you finish your high school degree, everyone thinks that you should automatically have life completely figured out. You are expected to know which college you want to go to, what major you will have, what career you will do for the rest of your life, where you’re going to live, what person you’re going to marry, how many kids you’ll want, if you will live in the suburbs or in the country, and how to file taxes when just a few months ago your school would not even trust you to go to the bathroom by yourself. How does society not see a flaw in this?

We are forced into being codependent, mindless beings for most of our lives and then the next day we are expected to make some of the biggest decisions that we will ever make. And if you express that you are confused or scared, you get berated because “You’re an adult now. You should just know.

But how can we know?

It’s not like our high school systems devote that much time to helping students actually preparing for the real world. We weren’t given courses like “Intro to Tax Forms for Dummies” or “How to Not Drown in Student Debt.” Instead, we spent years of our lives memorizing information to regurgitate back onto the standardized tests that (SPOILER ALERT) actually demonstrate very little of the actual knowledge that we hold and will never be applicable to life outside of the classroom.

And I’m not saying that we should attack teachers for how horribly underprepared we are for life. The teachers want to teach us valuable information and wish that they could break away from the rigid goals of the standardized tests. The problem is not the teachers. It’s the people who think that distinguished test scores are more important than fostering young minds to find passions and gain knowledge that will actually make them grow as a person. It’s the people who get angry at students when they try to express individuality and then later on get upset when the same student tells them that they can’t decide what they’re passionate about.

Students are being dehumanized into walking test scores, and not only is it damaging to our minds. But it sets us so far behind when the real world shoves it’s unrelenting presence in our faces. Students that excelled in school find themselves struggling when success is no longer a game of having a stellar memory. The students who fell behind are entering the world discouraged because they’ve spent their whole life hearing that they are simply just not good enough.

When you are already broken down mentally, it is hard to make massive decisions for yourself. And it is even worse to confess to others that you don’t know what you will ever be able to do with your life because you don’t want to fail at being an adult before you have even got started.

But, there’s a bright side to this. If you’re a young adult finding yourself in a similar position to the one that I’m describing, know that you’re not alone. Seriously.

Nobody has a clue about what to do with their lives.

The girl from your high school who has always been so sure about being an Engineer is probably having a mental breakdown and deciding to be an artist instead. The boy who you always just knew would become a lawyer is probably talking on the phone with his mother right now telling her that he wants to go into journalism instead. And your best friend that is currently a biology major? Be sure to motivate her when she starts crying and tells you that she definitely cannot complete the Gen Eds, let alone actually get a degree to be a doctor. We are all going to change our minds at least a million times about the direction that our lives will go. And when we think we have it figured out, it’ll probably change again because life is funny like that.

I know that this sucks right now. That the construction of the school system and society itself seriously needs to be fixed and that it can be seriously discouraging to feel like you can’t answer any of the thousands of questions being hurled your way. But just know that you are not alone in feeling about the world’s biggest idiot and that everyone is going to mess up. Welcome to the real world.

Let’s mess everything up together.