By Brianna Dioses
Sometimes, it amazes me that this campus can turn into a bubble. It can be really suffocating. I don’t think that I’m alone in saying that week has been hellish and that I could really just use sleep, food, and a vacation from the bottomless pile of work and stress coming at me. When you’ve got an enormous weight on your shoulders, sometimes it’s hard to see the positive side of things, and it’s easy to forget why you’re doing things that only seem to cause you stress.
Being a caregiver is probably the world’s hardest job. As a future teacher, a mentor, an SMRO, a big sister, and a friend, sometimes the demands all get to be too much and it clouds my vision. I want to live in a world where mental health issues are not a taboo topic of discussion, and I want to be able to facilitate those kinds of discussions in my role as a caregiver and teacher. Elementary schools need to start these conversations about mental health, and what it means to be a friend to someone who doesn’t feel their best all the time.
As a caregiver, sometimes it gets hard to stay positive. When I feel this pessimistic and dark at times, that’s when I always look for the positive side of things. Positivity is contagious, so if I don’t feel positive, maybe someone else can lift me up.
This week, I struggled with finding a positive attitude until I went to go tutor children at Parkway Elementary School. Going into my tutoring session, I was feeling awful that I hadn’t been able to set aside time to tutor, and feeling the weight of all the work that I could be doing instead. But instead of dwelling on this, I jumped in and joined a table of kindergarteners to help them with their homework.
As I sat down, one kindergarten boy asked me what my name was. I told him and then he asked what was on my face. He said, “It is very shiny and I don’t have one! What is it?” After some thought, I realized he was referring to my nose ring.
I laughed and said, “It’s my nose ring! What homework do you have?”
We worked on a worksheet that asked him to cut, paste and color items that started with the letter “P.” After much thought, we concluded that the word “basket” does not actually start with a “P.”
After finishing the worksheet, I read aloud all three of the books he had picked out for me to read that day. He kept stopping me to ask what would happen next, anxiously waiting to hear the answer in the following pages. After I had finished all three of the books, his father had come to pick him up.
“Dad!!! This is my new friend!” he told his father. “She taught me everything today and helped me with my homework!”
I left feeling like I was exactly where I was supposed to be and that despite everything going on, it was worth it.
As the semester comes to a close and gets to be “too much,” I hope you find your positive moments and find a moment where you can say, “That was all worth it,” like I did today.
Remember that you do make a difference.
You do matter.
Brianna is a sophomore Early Childhood Urban Education and Women’s and Gender Studies double major.