Spreading Love
Kaila Wong, Division 2, 11th grade

Earlier this year, a friend of mine took her life. She was an exuberant and boisterous person, who I always assumed was happy. Little did I know, she was struggling with family issues and feelings of worthlessness. This sensation of inadequacy settled itself into the hearts of some of my closest friends. It ate away at them, and they tried to get away from it, searching for relief through pain and death. Suicide is one of the most common ways for teenagers to die. With social and educational stress, victims of suicide experience a dearth of perfection and yearn for an escape route, but with love and understanding, these teenagers can learn to live to love themselves for who they are.

Although social media connects people with their friends, it can also be used to brag. Through the internet, people mostly post glorifying achievements and photos, similar to how a company only publishes the most exalting advertisements. When looking online, one could be shocked with how perfect everyone seems to be. Social media actuates inferiority.
With the increasing educational pressures put upon students, teenagers feel unable to meet extravagant, implicit standards. Education is an important milestone in any teenager’s life. Because of our vast technology, grades, SAT and ACT scores, and even colleges are all ranked. In order to have a harmonious and prosperous life, one must attend a good college, but to get into a good college, one must achieve an outstanding GPA and obtain a marvelous SAT or ACT score. And don’t forget the extra-curricular activities! With these crushing burdens, students are forced to compare themselves with others when they are faced with their college applications. Comparisons between yourself and others induces feelings of worthlessness.

Victims of suicide often feel alone, thinking that death is the only option. Trapped within inescapable standards and pressure, they alone and desolate. Because they feel alone, they don’t tell many others about their feelings. Even if they do, their feelings are often brushed off and disregarded. With no way to relieve their dissatisfaction for themselves, they suffer by themselves and see no point in living if they can’t live up to the world’s standards. To help them, one has to listen to them and truly understand them. One has to comfort them in times of need and encourage them to continue living. Everyone occasionally feels inadequate when comparing themselves with others, but everyone must also take note that we are all different people, with different strengths, weakness, personalities, genders, and sex orientation, so we can’t possibly expect to be exactly the same as someone else.

One of my deepest desires is to help depressed individuals. It can be as simple as asking them about their day or expressing my love and attachment towards them. As a person who was once depressed, anyone encouraging me and expressing their concern for me pushed me to continue living and become the person I am today. Their understanding compelled me to become who I am today, a high school student, who believes that if I can reach out and touch the hearts of those around me, I can save many lives.
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