Put Yourself First

Self-advocacy is important in these isolating times


Lily Clifford('22), with permission

Abington High School senior Jack Clifford (’21) stands on top of a dirt mound with sun beaming down on him behind Cherry Berry Shakes and Teas Cafe on Apirl 8, 2020

We are living in a time where people are feeling stressed, anxious, and depressed. Therefore, understanding mental health is very important.

I have found that having a friend or family member to talk to is crucial because they will help give me that push or motivation to say it is okay. Having people around makes me feel better.

Being open to discuss my feelings with others is very important because insecurities kick in and take over my mind and make me think that others will not like the fact that I am feeling this certain way. Holding in my emotions or feelings about my self-doubts and negative thoughts hurts more than letting out how I am feeling. Giving others the opportunity to help me with my tough times is important. For instance, going to guidance or a teacher is helpful because they are adults with experience. They are trained professionals to provide for students like me.

Knowing who I have around me makes me feel secure, like my immediate family or some of my closest friends who wants to give me so much love, care, and respect for who I really am is good. One thing that is important is making myself happy first.

It is okay to focus on me before I focus on other people.

— Jack Clifford

Putting myself first is necessary. It is even okay to be a little selfish. In fact, this is self-care. Being selfish is actually understanding that I matter more than other people around me and that it is okay to put myself in the spotlight now and then. It is okay to focus on me before I focus on other people. It is important, especially due to the way we are living. I need to know who I am. If I don’t, I won’t know how to talk to someone about how I am feeling emotionally.

People are prone to following the crowd. They follow what others do because they are afraid to stand out. But being an advocate for our own journey and success path is what decides your fate. So, pick a path you want to do. Don’t let others interrupt your goals or successes.

And if you cannot do this due to stress, anxiety, or depression, reach out.