I Used to Romanticize Stress, But Here’s Why I Stopped

by Lucy Barnum
Also Featured on KCBS

I Used to Romanticize Stress, But Here’s Why I Stopped

by Lucy Barnum
Also Featured on KCBS
10.21.19
Photo: Daniel Chekalov/Unsplash
10.21.19

Hearing from my friends about all their sleepless nights and back-to-back tests makes me think, am I pushing myself hard enough? 

The other day, I posted a picture of myself holding my math homework complaining about the three hours of sleep I got that night. In reality, I got closer to seven. But I was exaggerating just to see what my friends would say. Messages quickly came in saying, “So relatable.” I felt validated — like I was doing something right.

My friends and I use stress as a way to measure what kind of students we are. The more stressed you are somehow proves you are more successful in school. 

After seeing a classmate cry on their Snapchat story, I realized how toxic this internal pressure is. I don’t want to participate anymore. 

I’ve stopped publicizing my stress and started doing things for fun again, like hanging out with friends or making friendship bracelets. I’ve stopped engaging in conversations about how stressful school can be. 

My mental health has become my focus now. I’m doing things because I want to, not to impress my peers.

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