‘To my future self: things have gotten better, haven’t they?’

‘To my future self:  things have gotten better, haven’t they?’

Anika Kreegar, Staff Writer

Most mornings, I wake up and scowl as I turn off the alarm on my phone, upset at the fact that I have to go to school for more reasons than one. First off, it’s early. No one wants to disrupt their sleep to go to a fluorescent-lit 50-year-old building at 7:30 in the morning. Secondly, I would have to be a social version of myself for eight hours, which was exhausting.

If you know me, you probably know I’m quiet. I rarely speak out in class, only when I’m obligated to. I avoid eye contact whenever I can and have a hard time keeping up conversations.

So when I’m faced with having to push all of that aside for eight hours, I get frustrated and stressed out.

In eighth grade, I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety — there was finally an explanation for my behaviors in- and outside of school. Middle school was already hard enough; now I had to go through another four years? I felt sick at the thought.

People always glamorized how high school would be. It’d be fun every day; there’d be partying, and you’d get into the dating game — but I never experienced any of that. It’s like I watched everyone else grow from the sidelines.

I had a decent group of friends freshman to junior year, but since I’ve dropped some of the activities I did, I haven’t had much contact with them since. Senior year was foretold to be the greatest year of high school, yet here I was, dreading every second I sat in these classrooms. I was almost always anxious of what was around the corner.

During my sophomore year, my depression was the worst it’s ever been. It was a chore to get myself out of bed in the morning. I had to force myself to have fun with my friends, and when I was by myself whether after school or a hangout, I dipped low.

My grades weren’t that of an average BV student, so I often compared myself to my friends, getting even more upset when I was faced with the truth that I wasn’t good enough. I was suicidal at this point.

During the nights that were really bad, I ended up making plans, telling myself it was the right thing to do. I convinced myself I was a burden on each person I interacted with, that the world would be better without me in it.

One day, my sister, Noma, told me to join the newspaper staff, but the idea filled me with uncertainty. I was nervous. I had big shoes to fill, considering she’d soon become editor-in-chief of the paper. Eventually, she gave me enough courage to join.

Although I still didn’t talk much, being in that class was enough light in the tunnel to give me some hope to continue on. After a couple months of being in the class, I realized I didn’t need to become the next Noma. I just needed to be me.

I may not be best friends with the people in this class, but I know they will be here for me when I need it. More importantly, I needed them more than I thought. I finally realized I wasn’t a burden on those around me, and I was worth enough to live on this earth.

If I had gone through with those plans I made sophomore year, I would have missed out on a lot. I’m so grateful to have met the people I’ve met. High school may have not been the best for

me, but I have memories to last a lifetime.

In comparison of now to sophomore year, when things were at their worst, I’m doing better. I’m not the best I’ve ever been, but I really am doing better. Knowing I’ll have newspaper gives me enough energy and motivation to get up in the morning and go to school. Waking up at 7:30 isn’t as bad anymore.

So, now for some advice. I’ve never really been good at it, but I hope I can get through to whomever’s reading this.

If you’re like me, the quiet kid who has trouble talking to people, please do your best to reach out to someone. If you can have at least one person to meet

with every day, your life will lighten some.

And if you’re not like me, please reach out to someone who has trouble doing it for themselves. If you see someone sitting alone, ask if you can sit with them. Share a laugh or two with them; make a memory. If you can do that for someone, you’ve helped them more than you could imagine.

These four years at BV have gone by extremely fast. Don’t spend each day wishing it was over; instead, live in the moment. Because soon, like me, you’ll realize how little time you have left with your high school friends.

I have no idea what the future holds for me, but to my future self: things have gotten better, haven’t they? And if they haven’t, they’re destined to. Tell those around you how much you love and appreciate them. Talk to someone new. Be the best person you can be.