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13 Reasons Why NOT

What does suicide and success have in common?

Suicide: to end your own life.

Success: to reach desired outcomes and purposes in your own life.

What these two terms have in common is the ability to choose.

Both of course being easier said than done. But why do we choose in this day and age to go to the extreme of the two? Why do we live in such dichotomy? Why is it yes or no? Why is it success or failure? Why is it a pass or fail? It feels as though we are beginning to live in a world that doesn't value seeing the growth, just get to the outcome. A world that doesn't enjoy the journey or earn the pleasures of completion from hard work. I have a notion as to what it may be. No one is teaching resilience anymore. No one is teaching how to fall flat on your face and get up. No one is teaching how to get knocked down seven times and get up eight. What causes me emotional turmoil is to hear a student tell me "I want to do it, but I'm scared I will fail". This word [Failure] is destroying our students. This word [rejection] is ripping through their spirits. So I don't want to sit back in silence. I don't want to keep my thoughts to my self. I don't know who this will help but I need to say it and reach at least 1 life.

Dear Students,

13 Reasons Why NOT

1. Failure is inevitable. We all fail at something and it doesn't feel good. In the end it is the lesson that it teaches you. No one is perfect and failure will happen to every human being on the planet, even if they don't broadcast it on their social media. It happens.

2. You are Loved. Whether it's by a family, your friend from school, the one that has a secret crush on you, or the pet that can't live with out you. You matter to someone in this world. More importantly GOD is Love.

3. You WILL get through this. Even when it doesn't seem like you will. Even when it FEELS like there is no way out of shame, embarrassment, and harassment. If you can promise you'll try just one more day, hour, minute, or second... I can assure you, you WILL get through it.

4. You don't have to prove yourself to anyone. Be who you are. Social Media teaches you to be perfect, funny, flawless, sexy, masculine, feminine, judgmental, prejudice, cruel, and everything in between. It can be a TOXIC place. Be who you are not who the world wants you to be.

5. We all get scared. Scared they won't like you back, scared you won't get the job, scared you won't get the internship or the cool co-op. Scared you won't get into the the college of your dreams... Scared you'll be alone forever. Scared that no one really truly cares about you. THIS my loves is the furthest from the truth. Don't allow fear to keep you from stepping out on faith and believing that YOU CAN DO what ever you set your heart to. (False Evidence Appearing Real F.E.A.R)

6. Everybody doesn't have your best interest at heart and that's ok. Figure out who does through trial and error. Life is made to experience. Everybody has motives and intent for why they do the things they do. Even if it has nothing to do with you, you may be an innocent bystander of mean behavior. You don't have to be a part of any circle that makes you feel less than.

7. Caring what others think about you will destroy you. And this goes for your mom, dad, sister, brother, aunt, cousin, friend, lover etc. I honestly don't care who it is. Be giving and open to those experiences that make you who you are. You cannot concern yourself with what others think of you. Work on your true authentic self.

8. You can't always decide what happens to you but you can always decide how you respond. Don't give people more time and energy than they deserve. It's not worth it and your time/energy are the most precious gifts given to you that you cannot get back.

9. People come and go like the seasons change. Just because a relationship ends doesn't mean life is over. Just like you got one you'll get another one. Just like you found 1 friend you'll find more. Sure, some relationships are the cornerstone for how we move in this world. Let's be honest, you have your whole life ahead of you and what your looking for is also looking for you too. Relationships begin and end. It's a natural part of life. Remember this, and you will stop beating yourself up over things that didn't go so well.

10. Everyone is their own worst critic. Why are we mean to ourselves? No one will ever know. There are these comparisons that you try to live up to. There are stereotypical beings you try to embodied. You body shame yourself. You do ALL these negative things to yourself. Why not try giving yourself a compliment daily? You are your own biggest cheerleader. If you don't believe you can, no one else will. Spread joy into your own heart because you aren't even half as bad as you think you are.

11. You are perfect just the way you are. You hear this in songs (Shout out to Bruno Mars), you hear this from parents and loved ones... and it's still not enough. I'd like to commend those who strive to make living easier by embracing imperfections. Someone will love you just for being YOU. You can't change for those who don't like you... and why would you want to do that anyway. As the saying goes.. "Go where you are celebrated, not tolerated".

12. If someone is jealous, you're probably doing something right. The sad truth is as horrible as you may think your life is... someone wants it. They may not see your internal struggles or the pain that you constantly endure. Someone wishes they had your facial features, body parts, natural charisma, intellect, or even your common sense. There is always someone doing better than you and another doing worse than you. Work on self development and improving the world around you. Sometimes people can't see past the tip of their nose and wonder how you made it this far. Keep going even if it means going alone.

13. Life doesn't stop unless you do. Make the decision to ALWAYS keep going. I would never give up on you as your teacher, your dean, your mentor or anything else. YOU can't give up on you either.

Keep going, keep learning, and keep growing.

-Dean Felder

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