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High School Mental Health

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Motivation: 

  • The “I regret to inform you” and “unfortunately” are words we are going to hear for the rest of our lives. It is very easy to feel demotivated when you keep hearing these words especially from scholarships and schools that were a part of your vision plan. It is difficult to stay motivated when you get rejected but the more you apply to different kinds of scholarships, the higher chances you have of getting them! 

 

  • If you feel lost with all of the rejections, please talk to somebody. Ask your college counselor if you can set up a meeting with them and reflect what your options are and which one better fits you. If you think your college counselor is not very helpful, talk to someone who helps YOU. It can be a job supervisor, art teacher, coach, family, friends, etc. Dedicate time to think concretely about all of your options, it is important that you set a clear goal for yourself that you can accomplish! 

 

  • Motivation can also be lost when you don’t get the large scholarships that could fix your financial troubles. For example: QuestBridge, KC Scholars, etc. Try to not put all of the pressure on yourself by expecting to get a top name scholarship. It can be very stressful if for any case you do not get it and don’t have sufficient back up plans. Always have a back up plan and continue to apply to scholarships! 

Tokenism: 

  • Being a BIPOC token is when areas of recruitment, in this case, Predominately White Institutions (PWI) use students of minority groups to give the appearance of racial “diversity” within the institution.

  • A lot of the time, BIPOC students applying to college are suggested to write about their traumatic experiences in their college essays to attract the institution. Whereas their white peers are not suggested to do so. As a BIPOC student, bringing up these traumatic experiences can be very emotionally challenging and exhausting. Your traumatic experiences do not define who you are. You are more than your trauma. If you feel comfortable sharing your story, then by all means you can. However, if you feel that it is nobody's business what you and your family have been through, do not feel pressured to do so. You are who you want to be without having your trauma define you. If colleges can not see who you truly are, then they did not deserve you in the first place.

DACA Students: 

  • Applying for colleges and scholarships is a very stressful time for students. However, it is even more stressful when your citizenship status is the constant barrier that holds you back from applying to financial aid and colleges. You may have never visited your birth place and have lived your whole life in the United States yet you are still seen as an “International student” for many colleges.

  • Your struggle will never be understood by your citizen peers. American citizenship is a privilege that is taken for granted. However, do not let these limitations define who you are and your future. You are more than a piece of paper that states your status. You are who you want to become.

  • Please reach out to non-profits/organizations that work specifically with undocumented students. Also, reach out to your college! They might have helpful resources available for DACA students. A lot of the time, college counselors can be very busy with other stuff that they often forget that a lot of the resources they send out do not qualify for DACA students. Working with organizations and individuals who understand you is very important and valuable. Not only will they be able to provide you with resources, but they can be your mentors during these difficult times. Being around people who understand your struggle is good for your mental health. It provides DACA students with the opportunity to stop feeling like an outsider from their peers, it gives them a voice.

  • Reach out to individuals who work in these organizations by sending an email! You can visit our High School DACA page for links on some resources we found. However, the list goes on, research for help within the college you will be attending or other non-profits/organizations within your area.

Common Stressors: 

  • Not knowing if you are going to college for yourself or for your parents to fulfill the pressure you have of them sacrificing themselves to give you a better life. 

    • You are not alone in this. A lot of students from low-income and/or immigrant households feel a pressure to fulfill college expectations to make families proud. It is difficult to have this conversation with parents because a lot of the time parents think that there are no other options but to go to college. It might be helpful to set a meeting up with a college counselor to talk about some options you have been thinking about. It is nice to have a third party give perspective on the conversation. If this is not possible, ask yourself if your plans of not going to go to college are sufficient enough to support you financially throughout the years. What are your short and long term goals in your career and/or job occupation? Parents just want to make sure that you have a roof over your head and food on the table. 

  • Not knowing what to major in! Everybody seems to know what major except for you. Feeling left behind from the rest of your graduating class. ​​

    • Sis, tell us about it! These are issues that students have even when they are in college. Being confused on what you are going to major in is completely normal. However, it is important to recognize that your major will not necessarily be what you do for the rest of your life. A lot of students are known to do something different from their majors when they graduate college. If you are really confused or are stuck between a couple options it is important to RESEARCH!! Search up individuals whose career you really see yourself in. A lot of the time, their resumes or CV’s are included in their professional website. You can take a look and see how they started. If you are feeling brave, send them an email and ask them some questions on how their undergraduate major helped them get to where they are now! 

  • Not making it to your dream school, the plans that you made begin to completely change.

    • You go to get ice cream from the ice cream man with the idea that you are going to order a lime popsicle but they don’t have it available so you end up getting an orange popsicle. You never tried the orange popsicle but it seems you like it satisfies your needs! Your plans will always change and that is okay. The most important thing is that you stay open-minded on the opportunities that this new door has opened for you. It might be a blessing in disguise! One of our favorite quotes is, “It is not about where you start but where you end”. Reach out to someone on how you are feeling because it can be very emotional when you did not reach your vision plans. Make sure you surround yourself with a support system that values your vision and is determined to see it flourish in the future. 

  • Having a low GPA and/or ACT/SAT score, feeling as if your application does not qualify for college. 

    • Your GPA and ACT/SAT score do not define you, period! They can influence your admission process into scholarships and colleges however, you are not alone. College is an opportunity for students to have a restart, many students come out of high school with a low GPA and in college it is the complete opposite. However, if you feel like you want to give yourself more time before you spend 4 years in a college, you can give yourself an opportunity to raise your GPA and involvement at a community college! There are many options on how you can bounce back, BIPOC students are resilient!!! We are more than the standardized test scores. You can also focus on other parts of your application such as your resume, essays, etc. The other parts of your application can show who you truly are as an individual without having numbers define you.

If anything else comes up:

Please reach out to us! Our email and social media is below the site. ​You are not alone, we have been through this and if we have not, we will connect you with someone who has! We are here for you!