See many people say it’s easy to ask for help. They say you just need to ask and not overthink it too much. They say the chances of someone saying yes is higher than those who would say no. They say asking for help should come naturally when it’s about something personal. But honestly, sometimes it doesn’t. Or at least not for me. I have always been strong enough to manage my emotions, to manage the thoughts inside my head, and that horrible, tasteful, bitter feeling in my guts when something is causing me pain. I have grown up in a family who is strong, motivated and relentless. ButI also grew up in a family that sometimes isn’t there to support you. I spent my first childhood years without a dad who could teach me to ask for help. So, therefore, every time I encountered a problem, I would keep it to myself, put on a smile and keep going. I realized this not until La Paz when as a small kinder gardener I wouldn’t ask questions and wouldn’t ask for help even when I didn’t understand anything. In the beginning, it’s fair to say I was a very shy student. I mean I also didn’t have many friends at the start, I was new and I also didn’t speak English. As I grew up, I started to learn to ask for help in class, ask questions and be more engaged in class. I had become someone totally different, someone confident, someone who takes risks, someone who is great at listening and giving advice, someone who isn’t shy to be herself and that loves everyone so much. I started discovering the real Melanie that has been trapped in there for a long time. So for many years, I sucked at asking for help regarding school, but with time and support, I got way better at it. The problem occurs when the situation is about my personal life and feelings. I normally talk about my emotions, feelings, and problems with my close friends, family and some of my closest teachers. However, I don’t always know how to ask them for help or what they can help me with. I find myself constantly thinking about this, but not being able to answer any of the questions. Think maybe if I just ignore it, I will be strong enough to overcome it alone. The truth is, I have been doing this for a long time. I have been strong and have not given up in any of those downhills I’ve experienced. But one can be strong for so long. Eventually, you break, eventually you get tired of being strong all the time. That’s when you are supposed to ask for help. But for me, I just don’t know how to. These past weeks have been tough for me not only because the end of the year is coming up and IB is so challenging. But because my situation at home keeps getting worse I can’t do anything about it. On Monday the 17, we received terrible news and at this moment I just broke. I could feel my heart shattering into thousands of pieces and hearing it cracking was the worst part of it. I hold it in, I had to be strong for my sister. Well, at least I tried to be. I went to school the next day, my body was there but my head wasn’t. I remember going to school and bursting into tears the moment I saw my best friend Ashley. I talked to her and she listened. Just like she always does. She didn’t say much, but she stayed with us and that meant a lot. The next thing I know it’s snack time, I was surrounded by almost all my classmates and Miss. Amy J. Each and every one of them showering me with love, asking how they can help. Of course, I had no answer to that question. I thought in my head. ´´Please say everything will be okay ́ ́ or say ́ ́you love me ́ ́ and so they did. Miss. Amy said ̈ We love you ̈ ̈ At this point tears ran down my face, they didn’t seem to have an end. That’s all I needed to hear. 3 words that have so much more power than they will ever know. Those 3 words helped me get through that tough day. At that moment I didn’t ask for help, even though I knew what I needed to hear. Even though I said nothing, they still helped me and I will forever be grateful for that. And this moment was my glimmer of awesomeness, I knew the kind of help I needed but still, I didn’t manage to ask for it… When I do ask for help, I am totally crushed and don’t know what to do. This is when my friends, family, and teachers listen. I love when they just listen to me talk, it actually helps me understand better, how I am feeling. Or even just them saying they are there to support me, even just hearing them say ́ ́I love you ́ ́ or ́ ́I’m am proud of you ́ ́, motivates me to keep fighting. When people say to me ´´let me know if you need help ́ ́, I’ll just say ́ ́thank you, I appreciate it´´, but I don’t know how they can help me. This is the question I am working towards answering. Once I know this, I will be able to ask for help when I need it, and before it is an emotional crisis. Nowadays, asking my classmates for help when I don’t understand something is or even when I am too stressed out isn’t a problem for me. At the beginning of CAS, I sucked at asking for help too. This wasn’t a strength for me because I had never done anything like this. I remember I didn’t want to ask Willa for help as much because I was afraid of bothering her. I didn’t want to stress her out or think I was annoying. However, I realized she was always so nice about it. She never said no and she was always willing to help. I was also afraid to ask for help because when I did, people would disappoint me. For example, when we started the Boston project Leticia left Lauren in charge to help us. However, as this project has been progressing we haven’t noticed their support as much as we would like it. This week we had a meeting appointment with Lauren and she didn’t show up. These types of situations bring our motivation down and keep me at least, from asking for help. Furthermore, asking for help is something I practice a lot in both projects, for example when we asked Profe Carlos to help us with the resizing of photos, or when we asked Genna for help and advice on photo quality, when we asked Willa to help us with the adding of the portraits and almost every aspect of the yearbook, when we asked April for an extension in the finishing of the yearbook, when we asked the finance team to help us with the paying process, when we asked Abby for help and she ended up being our saving angel and more… As can be seen, we work collaboratively with such a great team, and we can’t do all of it alone. Asking for help is crucial in our CAS projects and because of this I am learning and working towards making this a strength for me. With all this said, my plan to improve at asking for help is to practice it more often. Even if it’s something little. I will ask my classmates whenever I feel like I need a hug, I will ask them to give me one. If I start doing this I will become more comfortable at asking for help and understanding what kind of help I need.
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