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This is a love letter of scribbled, messy hand-writing, from one tired soul to another with one unifying, simple, yet important message: keep going. 

Don’t give up, my dear. You have the whole world ahead of you, even though I know it may not seem like it sometimes. I know that the dread in your heart is filling up, some days even seeming like it’s bursting to the brim with exhaustion. A consuming thought of unworthiness crawls all over your mind until it’s the only lie you’re left believing. A questionable encounter with a customer leaves you shaking, or a nasty day may make you think that you actually aren’t as talented as you know you are.

Self-doubt likes to creep in, too, and shortly afterwards, it feels like you shouldn’t have signed up for all those activities and classes in the first place.

Friend, I’ve been there, too. More often than I’d like to admit, actually. I absolutely dread that feeling I get when I start doubting myself and my abilities after a long, hard day. Immediate regrets flood my mind and I literally have to pause and take a couple deep breaths in order to regain my focus and composure. 

You’re not alone in feeling overwhelmed and even hopeless, sometimes. There are so many things that we are all dealing with, publicly and privately, and there is no shame in recognizing that sometimes our batteries might just be a little low. 

Juggling working, studying, doing extracurriculars, maintaining relationships and preparing for our futures…it all gets to be a little much sometimes. Mix that in with our past traumas and current worries, and it can become straight-up overwhelming.

But it’s okay to take a break, my dear. It’s okay to sit in a peaceful silence and breathe, and it’s okay to ask for help if you need it. Pausing is necessary because as the saying goes, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.”

Please keep going, my dear. You are so brave for just existing. Life is tough, it doesn’t keep us innocent for long, but there is such beauty in the way that you keep on reaching for the stars, even amidst such darkness and worries. 

We can be each other’s beacons of light, support and encouragement in these troubling times. Leaning on one another helps us acknowledge that hey, we really aren’t alone, after all. We have people who care about us, but equally as important, we are starting to grow in our journeys towards loving ourselves more fully, too. 

Rest, but keep going. You are not what your doubts and tired thoughts make you out to be. You are so wonderful and so capable of such beautifully good things.

Keep going, my dear. Take a break if need be, but don’t give up on your dreams and ambitions. Remember that you do have what it takes, even on the cloudy days where it feels like you don’t. You are worthy, you are capable, and I believe that you can achieve whatever your heart desires.

Maria is the HCSLU President for the 2021-2022 year. She is a rising senior with a major in Communication and a double-minor in Marketing and Film Studies. Maria was born in the Philippines and grew up around Chicago. She is a published author and poet, and loves all forms of inclusive story-telling, especially for media and entertainment!
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