By: Chandini Antal

As I walk through the halls I often hear the words “not my problem.” At first, I didn’t think too much about this, it was a simple phrase that I didn’t think had much meaning. It wasn’t until I was sitting one day utterly stressed out trying to get help, and as I expressed my frustration when someone told me “not my problem.” They said to deal with it, it’s your issue, so I sat there and thought yes, why am I giving my personal burdens of stress onto someone else, this is my issue and my issue alone, I need to get it together and deal with it. But as the week went on more and more was added to my plate and my never-ending to-do list began to grow. I felt like my world was spiraling out of control and I was at the center of the maelstrom of chaos, and it was my problem and my fault. I didn’t ask for help from any teachers and I didn’t talk to my friends. I just put my head down and worked hoping that would solve the issues.

On the bright side, as life does, time went on and it got better, but I knew that I really didn’t want to feel that way again, and most definitely didn’t want anyone else to feel that way as well. After I noticed this, and how I felt, it became more and more apparent that I wasn’t the only one. I heard “not my problem” almost every other day, and saw the way people’s faces turned once they heard those three words. These words make us feel alone and trapped, that we can’t ask for help if we need it. It isolates us and gives us the feeling that we can’t solve the problem. It pushes us into a bubble where we think it’s the end of the world and because we don’t let anyone in to pop that illusion we truly think it’s the worst-case scenario. In all, it usually never is and it’s never as bad as it seems but we convince ourselves it is. And what causes that? I’m sure a lot of things, but for starts “not my problem” seems to be the kindling. Who knew these words could make you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, or who knew they could keep you quiet, even when you want to scream.