By Dr. James Simony
As we head back to in-person learning, we at Steel City Pediatrics want to encourage our pre-teens and teens to make good decisions and to do their best. Do the things that you need to do to stay healthy. Eat right, exercise, get enough sleep. Stay on schedule, if you are on a hybrid schedule get up and go to bed at the same time, whether you are in person or virtual.
For those of you that are feeling anxious or depressed; I encourage you to write a list of things that make you happy and things that make you sad. Try to do 2 or 3 things that make you happy and try and avoid 2 or 3 things that make you sad. You may realize that some things make you happy or make you sad that you just cannot change. Accepting that some things cannot be changed is a part of life, it is difficult, but it is fruitless to worry about things you cannot change. As always if you are considering hurting yourself or others please seek help. I can promise you 2 things: first, you are not alone, and second, you are not the only one. One other thing is certain. The world is a better place with you in it. You have a role to play that might not seem clear at present, but you have a purpose. Do not try and fix a temporary problem with a permanent solution.
It has been a while since you have been together, and everyone has missed seeing friends and teachers, but it is more important than ever that you work hard at school. There is no question that the last year has been like the Titanic; the ship hit the iceberg and it sank despite the efforts of the crew. Some were able to make it to the lifeboats, but many of you are in the water swimming for your lives. I urge you to keep swimming, even though it might seem easier to stop and go to the bottom with the ship. It is imperative to fill the educational gaps that have opened during the pandemic. The fact that so many of your peers are in the same position is irrelevant. A Herculean effort on the part of students, teachers, and administrators will be required to fill these educational gaps. This will happen because it must happen. I am certain that you are up to the challenge. We urge you to stay active in all your activities, clubs, and events especially those of you in High School. Make the most of what is offered and leave no regrets. The future is yours to create but it will take real dedication and grit to make that happen. Good luck to you all!