There is a lot of pressure on young people in this day and age. Go to a great school, participate in as many clubs and extracurricular activities as possible, have a new internship every semester, and graduate from college with the perfect 9 to 5 job, benefits and all.
While that sounds great in theory (who wouldn’t want to leave the comfort of school and have a solid future in front of them?) how are we supposed to take a moment off? How are we supposed to remember to breathe in between classes and homework and being pulled in four different directions just to craft the perfect resume?
Stepping down from a position, whether paid or unpaid, is never an easy choice, but prioritizing your mental health is a brave choice. So many people brush off mental illness as fake or folly and don’t see “mental health days” as valid reasons to stay home for the day. But what happens when the days start running into each other because we haven’t had a moment to just pause?
We burn out. We lose hope. We turn to unhealthy vices. So many things can go wrong once we stop prioritizing our health, whether mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual, above anything else. We need time to breathe, rest, and recharge, but the path to success just seems to be shortening and speeding up.
Socially, we have been putting in the work to destigmatize mental health issues and mental illness, but there is still a long road ahead. Financial and professional success is a beautiful goal to have, but we need to make sure we don’t lose ourselves on the way there.