As we all know the last year of school is a busy one. Exams, assignments, major projects, deadlines, and endless amounts of homework. It’s normal to be stressed during this time (kind of weird if you aren’t).

My point is: if you are falling behind because of issues in the classroom – if it’s making you feel like you can’t achieve your best and it’s putting you in a position that prevents you from that – you need to do something. You need to tell people what’s going on.

Here’s some advice I think will help. 

1)  Find the root of the problem.

For me, this stemmed from a disorder known as derealisation depersonalization. This became a severe issue. Severe to the point where I am now five lessons behind in one of my subjects.

What made it worse was that my teacher knew about it, supported me, and made changes to help me with it. But, I didn’t say anything. I sat there each and every lesson knowing I had not done the previous work, feeling like crap when I saw everyone else on top of it.

But there was a solution right in front of me. Talk to my teacher. Hence, I want you to do the same. I want you to find out where the issue stems and see what can be done. Maybe it’s finding some extra assistance, being allowed to have certain items which help you so you can concentrate, or even something as simple as taking a moment to rest.

2) Acts that can be completed on your own.

This may or may not be easy depending on what you’re going through. Here is my little way of taking control. Using a diary (nothing fancy just each page with a date) I write out each and every one of my classes. I don’t do this ahead of time. Instead, I will fill it out as the day progresses, leaving me with a clear-cut view of what we did, what was unfinished, and what was set for home. A great way to track progress.

Furthermore, I have regular talks with my friends, year advisor, and counsellor who all help me through it. As of late, it’s just talking with friends. When school heats up, it’s the year advisor. And when I feel too much, it’s the counsellor. All in all, I love and value each and every one of them. So, take note of your life, see what YOU can do to make it a little bit easier. It doesn’t have to be huge.

3) Your thoughts and perceptions.

What is your attitude of the whole situation? What are your beliefs? Do you deserve this? Are you just sitting by and watching it happen? These are some key questions to ask yourself. Because the fact of the matter is, it all starts with you.

Yes, other people may need to step in and play a role, but, unless you say something – unless you speak up – things are never going to change. And no one deserves that. No one deserves to feel at a disadvantage. Thus, I ask of you one thing and one thing only: Tell someone. There are so many options available, so many people who care so much. Don’t let yourself suffer. Let yourself be the person you are allowed to be.

4) Why are you doing what you are doing?

Is there an end goal in mind? A dream career? A passion you’re just dying to work on? If so, this can be your drive, your fuel. Oftentimes, particularly when things are tough, we lack motivation. However, if you have a reason for why you’re doing the things you’re doing, things become that much easier.

You know why you are sitting there doing homework. You know why you’re studying for that exam. And you know why you’re making such an effort in the first place. Hence, find out the benefit, work out why you are doing what you are doing – think of things like being able to get into university – and have something to work towards.

I know everyone doesn’t have it easy and I want you to know that you do matter, you are worthwhile, and you do make a difference in this world. So, keep shining! xx

About the Author

Caitlin Mortlock is a high school student living in Sydney. Although she’s struggled with mental illness, opening up about her struggles has helped her work through PTSD and dpdr (depersonalization-derealization disorder). She wants you to know that you’re not alone and that you deserve whatever help you need. You can connect with her on her website and on Instagram @itsokaytosayno_