Self Peace


Ever since I was a kid, I have loved reading. I can’t remember a time I haven’t enjoyed sitting somewhere and jumping into another universe, whether that be in a crowded park, or just under a tree at my house. Pinpointing what I particularly like about reading has been hard. Is it the way it was written? The plot? Or just the fact that a single book can transport you to a whole other world. 


As someone with an adventurous spirit but a tiny bank account, reading has been my escape from the real world. Whether I’m reading “Harry Potter”, “Percy Jackson” or some new YA novel, every story is able to harness me into the plot, the characters and take me on a ride through another’s world. 


When I was little, my mom used to take me to the library almost every weekend during the summer, and we would stay there for hours. It began by first picking a few books then hanging out at the park next to the library and reading them in the blazing sun while little kids would run through the nearby fountains. I realize now that was paradise, that was one of the most calming things I could do, and is something that I will forever cherish. 


As I get older, school and work become stressful, and college looms over us high school students in the distance, so it is hard to feel any true calmness or peace. Time seems to be running faster, and there is almost no free time. So then the question is: How do we find solace in an ever changing, busy environment?


For me, it is reading, listening to music or being out in nature, but for others I have no clue because everyone is different. Some people thrive in crazy environments whereas some like to have a quiet space. Something I have done this past year is listen to podcasts in my free time. Even if I can only get a few minutes into the podcast, it is a small escape from reality, but gives time to just breathe. As the past few months have gotten busier and busier, I have found myself not taking any time to just breathe. 


As someone who can get overwhelmed quickly, I have put mere homework assignments before my own personal and mental well being, and recently I have questioned why that is. When did we as a society decide that we should put literally everything else before ourselves?


One out of five teens in the United States struggles with mental health. That statistic is crazy, but also heartbreaking, knowing that 4,210,000 teenagers in the United States are struggling with some type of mental illness. 


As you go into the summer and upcoming school year, I encourage you to be open to asking for help in whatever capacity you need. You should never feel like you cannot reach out for help or even just to talk. You are so unique and amazing in more ways than that could be counted. 


1-844-493-TALK (8255) is a 24/7/365 support line for anyone affected by a mental health, substance use or emotional crisis. All calls are connected to a mental health professional, who will provide immediate support and connections to further resources.


  • Lauren Berroa; someone who cares