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You are not defined by a letter

I assume most of you are either in school, about to finish school, or already have a job; However, this concept applies no matter what stage you are at. For high school students, school is hard. I know. From doing countless of extracurriculars that our parents have told us to do, or we've chosen to do because of the famous, "it looks good on college applications", from managing the tiring homework, tests, and quizzes, and still figuring out who you are, managing a social life and learning new things. High school is damn hard. But please note, YOU ARE NOT DEFINED BY A LETTER. That one C- you got on a english paper will not ruin your chances of being the person you want to be. I can promise you that. Growing up in an indian household, we are automatically burdened with the idea that we have to be the best and our grades must be top notch and from a very young age, we are taught that failure is looked down upon. I had struggled with school for a very long time, I always tried to put 50 things on my plate such as work, dance, RYB, teaching kids, volunteering, AND going to school. It was so hard for me to manage all of this and not only did it affect my academics, but it affected my mental health as well. Reality check: you can't do everything. And you will not succeed in every single thing that you do. But focus on succeeding in things that give you joy. You are much more than your grades. These are a couple tips that really helped me through high school and I hope you consider them:

- If you are going to do things to put on college applications, try and incorporate things you are actually passionate about rather than just adding 10 different extracurriculars that might not hold any value to you. (i.e. I really enjoy talking to people, helping people, and working with kids...so i combined all of those into RYB which is something I will talk about in my college app)

- If you notice you're starting to feel overwhelmed with all of the things you have to do. Take a break, sit down and mentally cool yourself. I usually make a list of things that I have to get done and go in order so I don't end up jumping around between tasks. Maintain self discipline, if you know you're going to be on your phone and it will prevent you from working, put it on do not disturb and listen to music.

- Social life: At times it can be hard to create genuine and meaningful relationships in high school. If you are finding it hard to make friends, I promise you someone else feels the exact same way too. You are not alone and I know high school drama can be really petty or annoying, but if you even have ONE person that supports you and is by your side, cherish that. Enjoy every relationship you create with people in high school. And if some don't work out, you'll know they were never meant to be. One thing I ask myself is, "It's affecting you this much right now, but will it affect you in college?" You're not going to see all your high school friends after you graduate, why waste the time you have over someone that won't add value to your life a couple years down the line?

Please know that high school is hard, you will hurt a lot, but more importantly, you will learn a lot. Not only about how to manage stress and multiple tasks at once, but you will learn about yourself, and the people you want in your life. And if you don't know what you want to do after high school yet, it's okay...everyone discovers themselves at their own time and you are in no rush. If grades are getting you down, don't be discouraged as there are so many other people that find school hard. Not everything will come easy, but you can do it. Create a list, plan, organize, and execute.

Good luck on finals this coming week everyone...I wish you all the best and I hope that you go into each one feeling confident and ready. (If you're feeling stressed or overwhelmed, reach out to me and we can chat!) You can do this....




-Astha Soni June 10th, 2019


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