Dear Students,

S.O.S. It’s a distress signal. And I’m sending one to you.

I’m worried about you. I know, I’m a worrier. But this world isn’t like it was when I was your age, or even like it was ten years ago, or even like it was 2 years ago, before we practiced hybrid and distance learning, mask wearing, social distancing, and avoiding group gatherings outside of sports. That’s a lot of change – and fast. 

And I can see that this quick and sharp living, combined with less connection and more isolation, is taking a huge toll on your mental health. 

I know this is a time in your life when you feel tossed around by your parents, coaches, teachers, mentors, church groups leaders, bosses, and sometimes even your friends. It may feel like there’s nothing you can control except the delightful escape to your phone.  But though this escape may cause momentary relief, it hurts you in the long run. It does the same thing to your brain that candy does to your body: it tastes good but hurts your health. 

There’s real science behind this. Technology has a million positive benefits, but procrastinating with your phone/TV/computer increases anxiety, which increases heart rate, stress hormones, and does damage to your body. Not to mention causes tension between you and your parents. Who really are on your side, by the way…please don’t stop reading because I set that. 

In order for you to feel better, I wonder this: What would it look like to concentrate on controlling the things you can? MeaningYOU get to choose when and how you complete your to-do list and how well you do it. You get to own your experience and reduce stress and anxiety.  You can go from “underachieving” to finding your own pace and winning your race. Please let me help! You will? OK. Great. But first, and most importantly, you need to find your WHY.

What is going to get you out of bed in the morning when you’re cozy and went to bed too late the night before? What is going to help you sit down and write the history paper rough draft when there are a million Tik Toks to watch? What’s going to remind you to take notes and engage in your online classes, plan your day to complete your assignments, and post the grades that reflect who you are, not what covid restrictions have done to you?

The answer is within YOU. And I can point you in the right direction, but you’re going to have to take the next three steps. Don’t overthink it; just schedule it. And if you need help doing that, ask for it. You’ll need 15-30 minutes. 

  1. Download The Wheel of Life Activity
  2. Follow the Steps on the right side – you can print if it’s easier
  3. Talk to someone about your findings and make a plan to change one thing about school and one thing for you personally.

This is your first three steps to getting out of the weeds and creating WINS. I’ll tell you the next three next week. 

Cara Thorpe
Founder & Visionary
Yellow Parachute Learning Partners