Essay by bellashinHigh School, 10th gradeA+, November 2014

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! My personal connection with my topic has a lot to do with how I view stress and school, value happiness, and my past experiences with depression. School is most likely, if not, the biggest part of any teenager's life. However, it takes a toll on me especially because of how ambitious I am. I am almost always stressed, tired, unhappy, and just overall down in the dumps because of how much pressure I put on myself with schoolwork and extracurriculars. It's not like I have a lot of commitments but I am just the kind of person that bullies myself when it comes to academic achievement. I feel like I can't enjoy myself because of the stress I'm under and when I do, I feel even worse because I just lost that time doing nothing when I could have been studying. It's a horrible cycle of sleep deprivation and caffeine that keeps me going most of the time and when I do get enough sleep, I tend to oversleep due to my body being so unused to the hours. I want to learn how to let go of stress and not put so much pressure on myself to always do really well. I don't want to look back at high school and only be able to remember the countless nights I stayed up or the amount of rant sessions I had with my roommate about how much work we had. This is why I try to work on being happy and value happiness so much. I see how happiness affects not only myself, but the people around me. I think that the main goal of life is to achieve happiness however way you want to achieve it, but there are always steps that everyone must take in order...