Let 'Em Flow

The language teacher pointed at me and began to beckon me with her finger.

“Come here. I have something I want to say to you,” she said.

So far, seventh grade had not been my year at all. I walked around unexplainably miserable and tired all the time. I couldn’t seem to focus long enough to do my homework until the late night or wee hours of the morning, making my grades take a major hit because of it. I also hated my life and everything in it. Why? I couldn’t tell you, especially not without falling apart and bearing what felt like the darkest depths of my soul and inner psyche.

Now, anybody who knows the slightest bit about me knows that I’ve always been that kid that loves school and is always at the top of her game no matter what. For the opposite to now be true, panic spread around me like wildfire. Teachers were concerned, pulling me aside for “talks” with looks of sympathy, and my mom was yelling at me every time she saw anything less than an A on every piece of paper from school. Meanwhile, I was scrambling to fix it all, still trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with me.

We walked over to the side of the gym before she started to speak.

“Now, I’m not sure what’s been going on, but I’ve been hearing your name come up very often.”

My heart began to race as my emotions and words got caught in my throat, rendering me speechless.

“I don’t like that and I found it weird because in my mind I’m like, ‘They can’t be talking about her because she’s always on top of her work and she always tries to do her best.’ ”

My eyes welled up with tears as she continued. I blinked trying to keep my composure and hold back the tears threatening to fall from my eyes. It’s never a good feeling having your teachers talk about how poorly you’ve been performing. Not only do you know you aren’t performing up to standard, but you also hate yourself for it and beat yourself up over it every waking moment of every day.

She doesn’t even get it, I thought.

She kept talking, but my thoughts were louder. I felt the first tear roll down my face, my hand flew up to catch it before anyone could see it. Just as I had done so, another fell from the opposite eye and my world crumbled down around me. She ended her spiel by hugging me. I had never felt so trapped before in my life.

As she turned around to walk away, I quickly turned about face, darting for the bathroom to clean myself up. With my luck, it was inevitable for me to run into two peers that I rarely talk to who’d definitely never seen me with tears streaming down my face.

I dodged their questioning, left the bathroom and sat with my friends, making sure nobody was looking at me funny along the way. Just like that, I had managed to pick my entire life up off the ground and bandage it together just enough so that it would appear like I had everything together like I always do.

School for me had become stressful. Waking up early to get to school early, rushing around to classes, and then going home to do more work was a lot and it took a toll on my mental health. I had to realize that it was okay to not have everything together all the time. I learned that it was okay to just cry it out sometimes and let yourself feel. Maybe not in the middle of the school gym like I did, but you get the point. School is a challenge and your mental health is a lifelong battle. Though it may be hard, you have to speak up for yourself and do what is best for who you are and what you’re capable of. You're going to struggle without a doubt, no matter who you are, but you get to decide how you overcome and learn from each challenge you face while being in school.

Comments (2)

Ida McGrath (Student 2021)
Ida McGrath

I really like this essay, you were able to really capture all of the feelings and make the reader really understand and sympathize with your situation even if they hadn't personally experienced it. But as a person who has gone through that, I can say that you showed it perfectly which I know is hard. Your use of reflection really showed how you learned from your experience and how its shaped you. I pretty much already said everything I felt when I first edited your paper sooo…Good job!! :)

Peter Keo (Student 2021)
Peter Keo

As a high school student myself, I relate greatly to this personal essay! All of these things that Londyn mentioned are everyday struggles in not only me but a lot of other students as well, so it applies heavily to a real-world situation. This essay was thoroughly planned out, and I can tell because of its precise grammar and chronological order. Some backstory I noticed was how you mentioned you were in seventh grade and always had some of the best grades. Anecdotes are seen when you were crying and the teacher came over to console you and hugged. The biggest thing I saw was an entire section of reflection in the end where she gave words of encouragement to the reader and reflected on her events that led her to saying those things. Well done.