This I Believe

Chelsea - Newtown, Connecticut
Entered on May 29, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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This I Believe

I got a letter in the mail from school yesterday; it was to inform me that I had missed ten chemistry classes since October. I scoured the list with skeptical eyes and was only able to identify two days when I was actually sick and perhaps only three others when I had been on field trips. As I curiously gazed at the rest of the dates, a smile came to my lips. Those five glorious days that I had been free from my chemistry teacher’s rants came back to me. Those were days of wonder, days of sleeping. Those days were what every child lives for and exactly what I believe in. I believe in mental health days.

I’m only 17 years old, and yet, if I had to estimate, I would say that I have spent at least over a month of my life completely overwhelmed with stress. I find it sad. Here I am, in the prime of my life and sometimes I’m so floored by what’s going on around me that all I want to do is curl up in a ball and die. I find myself thinking of things that I probably shouldn’t even be thinking of. I mean, I’m only 17 and I’m already scarred that I will end up an old maid with 400 cats. Sometimes I get so flustered that I feel like crying or freaking out, but no, I won’t, because I am bound and determined not to let stress get the best of me!

Some people see mental health days as a sign of weakness, but oh no, not I. I believe that a mental health day is the best gift that I can give myself. A mental health day is all about me. It’s time for me to sleep in, catch up on my growing mountains of work, and just breathe. When there is so much stress to be had in this world, especially as a teenager frantically getting ready to apply to college, I need to be able to forgive myself and understand that stress doesn’t have to be a critical part of my life. A mental health day offers me a chance to take a step back and look at the world as a whole instead of seeing only my corner. I see that I am not alone in feeling the pressure, and that I have the power to fight it. And I fight, by treating myself right. And that kind of peace of mind is worth missing one, or five, days of notes.