The teenage mind is a very fragile thing. With a slew of negative thoughts surrounding us every day, it is hard to keep our morale up. We’re all going through regular uncomfortable teenage stuff--you know, like acne, braces, and the crippling pressure of picking a life path when we don’t even know what a 401k is.

Something I have noticed lately amongst the senior class especially is something I categorize as  “senior stress”.  I walk through the hallways only to see my fellow classmates with dark bags under their eyes, tirelessly dragging themselves through the day. I am no exception to this. I constantly find myself buried in assignments and due dates, which is nothing new to me, as this year marks my third as an AP student, so it’s expected that I will have this much work to do on a regular basis. However, adding on top of that a part-time work schedule, extracurricular activities, and more, is enough to tire a developing mind and body on its own. But that isn’t where it ends this time of the year. College applications, scholarships, standardized testing,’s all beginning to hit me at once. I went from having to ask for a pass to use the restroom to deciding where I am going to spend the next four years of my life and how I am going to pay for it. And that is certainly not an easy transition. I can only imagine what my peers are going through, knowing what I am going through. It’s so easy for me to get wrapped up in my own agonies when there are easily at least hundred other kids going through the same exact thing, and worse for some.

What is important for our own sanity, in my opinion, is personal time. Sometimes it is hard for me to find my own time in between the hecticness. But it really helps. Sometimes my time consists of bringing my current favorite playlist along for a long train ride, or sitting in a quiet coffee shop with no company other than a latte and a bent copy of my favorite read. Sometimes it is merely belting out my favorite throwback jams in the shower. But it is important to take some time to relax, and disregard your worries. What was that thing that Bob Marley said in that one song that everyone always sings? Either way, whether it’s for five minutes or five days, a little R&R never hurt anybody.

So I encourage you, reading this, whether you are still in high school or way past it, to take some time off today. Take some time off from whatever you have planned. I promise, there is so much more to life than being tired and stressed all the time. Go check in on a friend, watch the news, start an art project, read a book, dance to an old Beyonce album. Just take a step back from life and breathe.

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