Stress: A Daily Struggle This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   It's 7:00 a.m. on a rainy Monday at the end of September. I've been awake for over two hours. I proceed to stretch out lazily with my back on the carpeted floor of my bedroom. I carefully listen to the soft patter of raindrops dancing playfully on the roof as they fall from the overcast sky. Slowly, I inhale the sweet, intoxicating autumn air permeating the room while raindrops float through the open window. I temporarily, yet purposely, neglect thoughts of assignments that should have been finished Friday, household chores that should have been tended to yesterday, and an annoying, never-ending list of "Things to Do."

On mornings such as this, I know I must manage to focus, keep a clear, constant perspective and somehow avoid the destructive whirlwind that everyday life has become. Recently I have noticed that many high school students (myself included) seem to take on more than they can possibly handle. Between sports, student government, family, friends and the growing amount of homework each night, it seems as though I have no time, or, rather, a lack of time. The unbelievably high expectations I have for myself, combined with the constant pressure from my parents, teachers, coaches, and even peers, to excel definitely takes its toll on my mind and body. Lately, I've come to understand the true meaning of the word stress!

Stress is the time you do not have, but desperately need. Stress is the A.P. history project due tomorrow that you've barely started. Stress is five hours of homework, a calculus test to study for, and a two-hour cross-country meet against the rival team. And this is only the beginning ...

I force myself to reflect on absolutely nothing for a moment. I spend a few precious minutes in order to relax, refresh, and rejuvenate my overtired, overworked and thoroughly exhausted spirit. I hear an irritated voice calling my name. Time to go. Hesitantly, I pull my tired body and soul up off the floor and take a good look around. My mind is racing once more with thoughts of incomplete homework assignments, forgotten lunch money, and dreaded pop quizzes. I wince painfully as I recall the most recent battle I fought against my mother this morning. I utter one, small inaudible sigh, shrug my shoulders, and reach for my overstuffed backpack. I smile and frown simultaneously, reminding myself that it is Monday and I'm already five minutes late leaving for school.

Today is just another day in the journey of my life. Who knows, maybe today will be a good day and tomorrow even better. I give my room one last glance before closing the door and make a note to myself ... clean this mess up sometime! ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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