If you've read some of my past writings, you'll know that I am currently a Junior in high school. When I switched schools this year, I was surprised to learn that I was going to be able to take an AP Language class, which was something I had always been interested in. I'm also taking a British Literature class, which is by far my favorite class this year. These classes require a lot of outside work and need a lot of prep for the tests and quizzes. I feel very lucky to be able to take these classes at all, but those mixed with all the other classes I'm taking (12 in all), things can get a little stressful.
Every Tuesday and every other Thursday, I work in the first-grade classroom at my school. Sometimes, there are still kids working, and over the last few months, I have gotten to know a couple of them fairly well. One little girl, in particular, is there quite often, so I see her a least once a week. When I work, I vacuum, wipe down desks and chairs, clean the blackboard, and occasionally will grade a couple of papers. On this last Tuesday, I was vacuuming when I accidentally hit a desk, causing a chair and dozens of markers, crayons, and pencils fell to the ground. Immediately, two little girls rushed over and began to help me clean up through my cries of "No, it's okay! I can do it, it's fine!" The girl I see most often looked up at me and said, "It's okay. We all make mistakes, and it's okay to let other people help you." She didn't know it, but those words went straight to my heart, and my already emotional self fought back the tears that were forming.
Here's the thing: I love school. I always have, and I probably always will. I love writing, and I love reading, which is why I chose the classes that I did. But like I said earlier, those classes are hard, and require a lot of time outside of class. Over the last few months, I have tried to do everything by myself. I don't like asking for help- actually, I really hate asking for help. I don't like appearing weak, or as though I can't handle something I brought onto myself. This little first-grade child was able to make me forget about that for a moment. I looked at her and realized that she was right- it really is okay to let other people help you. Asking for help does not make you appear weak. Showing emotions does not make you appear weak. Actually, if you think about it, it makes you appear stronger. Asking for help, being vulnerable, and showing emotions are not things to be ashamed of. In fact, they should be cherished.