To you, struggling students:
Life is difficult. And often, we don't feel up to the task. It's okay. We eventually figure it out if we persist.
Sometimes, however, feelings of despair and and lack of guidance and support from the outside make us feel worthless, doomed, and a number of other things. Meme culture makes a lot of jokes about it, and jokes are great, and levity helps difficult situations become manageable, but if you find yourself unable to shake that feeling - you know the one I mean - it's time to get some help. If you are in depression or suicide territory, there is an army of unaware soldiers ready to come to your aid. You just have to let us know.
Get help, especially if you don't want to. If you know you need help, but refuse to seek it, that's the first sign that you may not be qualified to make that decision. Seek out the people that care about you, because refusing to let anyone know that you need help and then predicting that nobody will help you is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Give us a chance.
All difficulty is surmountable. Sometimes you just need a bit of help.
Ask someone that you trust if you can talk to them for a few minutes today. A parent, a teacher, a faith leader, a counselor, or another trusted adult. (Mr. Graham makes this list of supporters almost every morning - you should be familiar with it.) Someone that can give you some real, good advice, and get you to the resources that you need.
If you are at SoHi, you can come to my desk and let me know that you want to talk. I'll find some time for you. If you have another teacher that you feel like you can trust, go talk to them. I work with some of the best teachers in the world. More importantly, I work with some of the best people in the world.
Stop by the counseling office. You can make an appointment with them and talk through what you need to talk through. If you don't know how to do it, come see me and I'll help you out. We have excellent resources in our building, and I hope - no, I insist - that you use them if you need them.
You're worth the difficulty, the trouble, the challenge, the cost. Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. Especially yourself.
You are loved. Maybe you don't feel it, and maybe things have felt cold for a while, but the future has warmth.
Today might not be great, but give tomorrow a chance.
PS. I don't do this job because of the history, or the essays, or anything else you think I do. I do this job because of you.