Miranda Prescott, Correspondent
“You could not know what stress is. You do not have a reason to be stressed.” Ninety percent of the time, a college student has heard that at least once from someone they know. Whether it is a family member or a friend, these words have been uttered more times than you care to remember.
For me, it definitely has been said several times over the course of my life. If you are anything like me, it makes you feel invalidated. All the hard work you have been doing recently just becomes worthless in the eyes that make that statement.
I do a lot. I am an executive board member for two different organizations and I am a writer for the Chanticleer. Most of the time, I find myself feeling overwhelmed with everything that I have going on. That is mostly fine with me, though. I stay busy to feel productive and like I am actually doing something instead of nothing at all.
But, sometimes, I do feel overwhelmed and stressed. It is a completely normal human feeling to feel stressed. When I feel stressed, though, it is a culmination of everything that I had boiling to the surface coming out the top like a volcano. And when I am feeling like this, I need to talk to someone. But, most of the time, the conversation ends very quickly with the words that make it hard for me to come out and say things.
And so, the cycle ends with me bottling it up again and continues from where we left off. It feels as though there is not a way out. Am I not allowed to be stressed out over what I am doing? Am I destined to live in a world where no one understands that I have these stressors and that they are indeed valid?
My anxiety and stress levels finally snapped over the edge during winter break. I realized that I could not keep living in a world where I was stuck by myself with little to no help. If I were to continue the life I had before, it would be a recipe for disaster.
So, I started therapy. And let me tell you, it has been the best decision of my life. I finally can feel like it is fine to feel the way I feel sometimes. My emotions do not need to be bottled up inside of me all the time. I can talk about it and not feel like I am burdening anyone else with the stress and anxiety I feel most of the time.
The moral of the story is that it is perfectly OK to not feel OK. You have a right to be overwhelmed in everyday life. You have the right to say that you are stressed. You have the right to seek help if you need it.
What you do not have the right to is someone telling you that your feelings are not valid. Those are people who have no regards to your mental health. Instead, seek out people who will be there to help. Find where your safest place is to let your emotions loose without any consequences from toxic people. And, most importantly, seek out professional help if you need it. If you have been looking for a sign to do so, this is it.