There are two weeks left of school and today was one of the hardest. A student came to me with a real life issue. Not a “Miss, a teacher won’t sign off on my work!” but a “Miss, I don’t know what is to become of me because my life makes no sense and I need help.”
Two weeks left of school and I am only finding out now that a student is having a hard time. It has taken me eight months to figure out why they seemed to be avoiding my questions about “the future.” And now all we have is two weeks. How am I supposed to say that I might not be able to come up with answers? How do I tell the student that they are two weeks away from maybe being on their own to figure things out, to brave it out and be tough when when all they want to do is cry?
As the student spoke to me I could feel the sadness overwhelming their face, and I felt it in my chest. If it were up to me I’d fix it all and promise them an easy life. I wish I was having a conversation about moving onto campus and making new friends and explaining the Freshman 15. But I cannot. All I could say is everything will be okay. But we both know that is uncertain.
I have put myself in a position where I am supposed to be a resource, guidance, and encouragement, and I didn’t have shit to say. I asked questions and kept a positive smile on my face as I watched their body shrink into the stool they were sitting on, shrink into themselves and into their worries. I wanted to shrink, myself. I have faced my own issues, so I know I can fight. But I was twenty-five at the time, not seventeen. I was sure I was fit for this job; am I?
I will do the best I can to help, exhaust myself until I can find a sliver of hope. It is hard, and overwhelming. I am tired. I am sad. Not for myself, but for someone who should be enjoying the end of the school year but is facing real life, deep-shit issues.
I wish I could rewind today. I do not know what tomorrow will bring.