To what extent does a support system influence your life? Is this influence positive or negative? These are the questions that I would like to answer. Let us start with an activity. On a scale of 1-10, how stressed or anxious do you feel, one being the lowest and ten being the highest? Many teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 experience high levels of stress due to several reasons, like exams, college etc.
A dreary morning in Bangalore made me wake up late and lose track of what I was supposed to do. This led to a lot of work being due, a typical morning in my life. Today was a big day. The timetable for the 10th board exams was going to be released. After what felt like a long will-they-won’t-they saga, the CBSE Board announced it. Having waited so long for this moment, it seemed surreal. My mother saw that I was jittery and tried to calm me down. To my horror, the exams were going to happen; that too during May and June, which meant that I would have my head in the book even during my summer vacation.
It took a toll on me mentally as I hadn’t seen my friends for over a year. Suddenly, even my school work dominated my summer vacation, and I had to force myself to attend an online school. I also had other things on my mind, like what I wanted to do after 10th grade. All this stress kept me from prioritizing my responsibilities. It was a stressful couple of months as I was also applying to different places as I wanted to change my school. I did not know where to begin with all my work piling up.
I needed a break and was unable to take one because of the amount of work. I began to talk to my mother and my friends whenever I felt like I had time and I could take a break. It made me realize how much stress was affecting my ability to work. I realized how lucky I was to have people who supported me. They told me to take things one step at a time and to learn to prioritize and explained how I should not worry about things that are beyond my control.
These conversations with people close to me changed my outlook toward life, giving me a new perspective due to the challenges I faced. It shows how just one conversation can change the way you view situations. Research has shown that support systems can have a positive impact on mental health, especially for women, older adults, patients, workers and students. A robust social support system can take a variety of forms like providing emotional support to someone, as well as timely counsel. It also necessitates social integration. Poor social support is correlated with loneliness and alterations in brain function.
We, as Woodstock students, should be helpful and positive as it will help build a protected community where people are comfortable talking about their problems. Despite insecurities we may have about opening up, being vulnerable about our challenges can have significant benefits.
Establishing a group of people who would celebrate with us in times of joy and be there for us in grief would make an enormous difference in how we perceive the world. Some problems may feel complicated from one person’s point of view, but talking to an adult or a trusted one gives different perspectives. I would not have been able to get through the stress and not realized how it affected me. Even with all the pleasures in the world, life is incomplete without a good set of people in it. A group of people who support you will always have a positive impact on your life. It takes just one person to reassure you that you are on the right path.
Ria is a staff reporter.
Edited by Riya.