Stop and smell the roses


Days pass by. They turn into weeks. And then turn into months. I work through math problems and read about atoms at the molecular level for what seems like hours. But when was the last time I didn’t rush my shower, or have time to paint my nails? At first it seems like days, but so quickly it turns into longer stretches of time.

College is the end goal for many high school students, and the path to get there gets steeper as the years go by. I reach junior year and all that seems to matter is how you do on two tests. I spend more time trying to figure out if an answer is A, B, C or D than on myself, but I am starting to realize that I just need to slow down.

It’s not just school that consumes my time, it’s all the extracurriculars I try to cram into my schedule so I can to make sure I will have a full transcript when I apply to college at the end of the year. I can’t remember the last time I hung out with a friend and we didn’t talk about how much homework we had.

When I entered my junior year everything became much important than it was the year before. Every assignment has a little more weight attached to it. Every test dictates my ending GPA. I attached the weight to all of those things, and put the pressure on myself but I can’t help it.

Being busy is great to an extent, but I started to realize that my mental health was slipping as I spent less and less time thinking about what I needed to make myself happy. Having time to go on a walk or be in nature fall away deeper into the school year I go. Breathing in fresh air for more than 10 minutes is not something I have done in a month.

I am now realizing how important it is to “stop and smell the roses.” Being with myself and clearing my mind of all the work I have to do is becoming more therapeutic than ever. I have started to put down my pencil and paint my nails if I want to. It’s the little things that end up making a big difference in my mood. Just simply sitting on my front porch clears my head for a little while.

I’m not saying that school and homework aren’t important; I’m just saying that being mindful of what you and your body needs to be healthy should not be sacrificed to cram for a test.