black and white staircase full of people


A poem about the pressures of growing up

Mental health and wellbeing
By VoiceBox ·

Skylar (not her real name)

A young poet from the UK


Sometimes I would wish that I could just go back in time

A time where things were simple and still.

Where i could just wake up 

Every day I could experience a new thrill

A life that didn’t expect so much from me

We were so young, so careless and free

Then high school came around

I was surrounded by crowds of eager children like myself

Entering with diverse backgrounds

I had found new friends, new passions and excitement

Life was my playground

But as we played the game like a game of chess

Marching full speed into a war we call adulthood with lack of awareness

The balled-up stress I gradually gained was masked as a pool of schoolwork

I grabbed the mask and forced it on my face

Shaping it into a smile

I steadied my hands on the railings for support; I thought i was prepared

But the tide was so high, the railings were slippery and thin like a string

Even with all my strength, I couldn’t hold on any longer

I slipped,

I slipped and fell into the pool of despair

With loss of control, I was breathing thick air

Heaving, shouting for someone to help

But they just responded, “that’s life” and didn’t seem to care how I felt

I tripped and stumbled out of the pool 

I told myself never again

Oh, how i was a fool

For i would slip and fall again and again

Mistake after mistake

I tried so hard to fit in

When I was a teen, I figured the only person who could help me was myself

I kept telling myself that STEM knowledge was the only key to wealth

But that’s what others wanted for me:

“Become a doctor and you will be healthy”

“Become a lawyer and you will stay wealthy”

It was too much for my teenaged mind so i pushed them away

Afraid of what i would see if i continued to play

Slowly giving up during exam season

I had no reason to continue the delusion that I would do stem

I eventually realised that I wanted to pursue what made me feel like me

Even though i was afraid that i would be deemed unintelligent

Growth taught me that I should follow my passion

Even when tough

Because when life gets rough, 

I want to be doing something that makes me happy

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