I’ve always been one to present myself as a happy person and I’m not one who cries. I used to act as though I didn’t have a single care in the world, while happily running through the motions of life. My emotions were sometimes hidden behind a smile, bottled up within me as I attempted to not show my emotions in front of people no matter how bad of a day I was having, for I feared people would judge me for being weak. Despite how terrible a situation was, I was still able to boldly exclaim, “I’m okay”. These two words were like second nature to me; they were as instinctive as the urge to breathe. School was so stressful for me. Don’t get me wrong, it still it is but growing up in a family where grades are of utmost importance, expectations are set for me and stress was and still is a burden on my shoulders. I’ve had to pick myself up from failure, move on and keep going. I failed my first history assignment and math written tasks, lost what I thought were my best friends towards the examination period in Secondary 1, and was not the most well-liked person in class. All the while I was doing fine with suppressing my emotions, until one night I wrapped myself in my warm blanket and stared up at the ceiling of the room in darkness, that it hit me. Something in me snapped. Maybe it the pressure from examinations was getting too hard to handle, or the loss of my friends was starting to take its toll on me. It started off like a drizzle, the sadness crawling around my body, tears forming in my eyes. Before I could register it, I was unravelling at the seams. A torrent of tears streaked my face, my body shaking with sadness, pain and fear. I turned up the next day at school, with red and puffy eyes. It was obvious that I had spent the night crying. Despite all the curious looks I got from my classmates, I was a new me. It would have been so easy to just give up and be done with it all so that life wouldn’t be so tough. But that night made me realised that I still had so much more things to accomplish, so many more places to see. My grades would improve if I focused and worked harder, I would eventually forget about my friends who left me and instead make new ones if I had opened up my heart a little bit more. I would have been alright if I had just told someone about my situation, or if I had given myself a break and stopped trying to act so tough. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s totally fine to breakdown, cry and let it all out. It’s alright to be stressed out over friends and studies. Crying is healthy for one’s soul and mind. Don’t bottle up your emotions because you’re scared of what others might think of you. Don’t, because it can hurt you. I’m not a robot but I am a human. I don’t have anything to prove to the world. Everyone has problems and feelings and it’s okay to have a bad day and cry or take a moment to stop and breathe. There’s no need to subject yourself to such suffering since everyone goes through such periods in life and you don’t have to be strong for everyone. The next time you feel that the world is crashing down around you, don’t say “I’m okay” because you aren’t, and there’s nothing to be ashamed off.