Toxic Positivity: I Am Not Okay

Enough with the “good vibes” and “we’re all in this together.” Let’s instead try honesty.


You’ve hear the term “toxic negativity”, right? We’re often warned against being too downtrodden, “emotional”, or admitting that there actually might be a problem.

If we flip this idea, enter a new term: toxic positivity. That we need to overcome any adversity in our lives, gain a new perspective, and essentially, pretend like nothing is wrong.

In fact, we are not okay right now.

We are isolated from our friends and stuck at home with our families. And this is not saying that we don’t love our families, it’s just sometimes you need a break to see our friends. But right now we can’t because we need to be aware and mindful for the health of others. 

Right now people are trying to pretend that everything is fine and it’s all going to be okay, but it’s not. So much has gone wrong for so many people and hearing the frazes “it’s going to be alright” or “things could be worse” all the time is getting painful. It doesn’t need to be sugar coated, we get it, we are going through bad times right now and the light at the end of the tunnel is far away.  

Adults think that when their kids say that they are mentally not okay and are going through bad mental health they interpret that as the kid trying to find an excuse to be lazy. Many parents do not know the signs of anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. High schoolers everywhere, some of which I know personally, have dealt with depression and mental illness their parents didn’t know how to help them. 

All these adults’ thoughts are completely wrong. This new learning format of 100% online and the lack of social interaction is negatively affecting all of us. Adults think that this year school should be easier because we’re at home and we can cheat, but that doesn’t make it any less stressful. Teachers are still assigning us the same amount of work that we get in person school, and think that since we are home we should be able to get it done easily. 

But that is not the case. We sit in front of our laptops everyday for hours with our only break being lunch or a possible study hall and then are assigned another two plus hours of homework for that night. Sitting in front of our laptops everyday is not healthy for so many reasons. 

My friends are a big defining factor of who I am and I need them to be happy, and right now I haven’t seen some of my friends in months because we don’t go to school together anymore. Also school is the only place where I could see some people because I’m trying to not see as many people because the spread of covid-19 is just getting worse. 

We’re not walking around anymore, when I usually get school I’d walk thousands of steps all around to school to class. We also see almost no one throughout the day because we are at home and have nowhere to physically go after school.

Learning right now is so much harder because it’s different. Sitting alone in a room for hours is just painful and right now school isn’t teaching us anything except how to cheat.

Also this learning format is not teaching me anything. Yes, on the outside students’ grades might look better because it’s easier to cheat and copy work, but really we are not learning. One student said, “My grades are higher than ever, but I’m not actually learning anything.” We’re just memorising and writing it down on a test. Yet, strange enough we are still stressed out about school work. 

This is not right but this is how the world is right now. A lot of us are lonely and really going down a dark hole of anxiety and depression. With all the free time alone to think we are discovering more about ourselves we’ve found more problems and things to stress about. 

2020 flipped the world upside down and no one was prepared for how it was going to end. As this roller coaster of a year comes to a close, and we enter into a hopefully better 2021, we need to be more open to change for the better.