How I Found My Happiness in High School

Hey there! Have you ever struggled with finding happiness in high school? I’m talking about genuine happiness, not that fake happiness that people trick themselves into believing. I used to believe that happy people were just fakers. How horrible is that?

Throughout high school and even the past few months, I have had to overcome depression, anxiety, and my sexual assault. I never knew what it was like to be happy for more than a few moments at a time.

I didn’t know what true happiness looked like or how to obtain it. I saw happiness as this far-off dream that I would never be able to obtain.

I was so used to pain & heartache that I couldn’t imagine a life in which every day was easy. I couldn’t grasp the idea that other people’s happiness could be real.

Or maybe I just didn’t want to.

Because I didn’t want to burden other people with my depression; I didn’t talk to anyone about it.

I tried to act normal. I tried to be like everyone else.

I would look into the mirror and hate the person looking back at me. I felt trapped by everything I thought was wrong with me.

It got to the point of holding so much in, I didn’t think I could handle it anymore.

So I hit rock bottom, and I didn’t know how to get back up or if I even wanted to.

But, by the grace of God I realized that I had been taking my gift of life for granted. I had the choice to do something about my unhappiness all along; I just choose not to. I had allowed my negative thoughts to control my life for far too long.

I made the choice then and there, to change my life.

Over the past few months, I have taken steps to overcome my depression and anxiety, and as impossible as that might sound, I did it. I made the choice! I decided not to give up and refused to give in to the depression.

I failed a lot and am still failing every day, but every time I fall down, I get right back up again.

I am here today not by chance but by choice. I choose happiness instead of my depression.

I am just an ordinary college gal, determined to empower, encourage, and equip you to overcome your setbacks and discover your happiness.

No matter where you are in life, if you are not happy, something needs to change. Life is too short to be lived in a haze of hopelessness.

Many people who come to me at work or at college, tell me that they feel helpless to change.

There are indeed some diseases, disorders and situations that you will have no control over, that cannot be changed.

But you always have the choice of how you react to them and what to do when they threaten to take over your life.

What we need to do is create space for happiness, even if you think your life is full of darkness.

There is light somewhere, and I am determined to help you find it.

I found the following steps extremely helpful on my road to happiness and overcoming my sexual assault and depression.

Talk About It

Find a trusted friend, family member, counselor or youth leader who you can talk to openly.

Getting your emotions out and asking for support without guilt is crucial to the healing process.

Make sure this person is:

– supportive

– willing to help

– unbiased

– has life experience


Instead of dwelling on the negative things happening to you (such as things you have no control over), focus on the positive actions you can take.

What can you do to create happiness in your life? Even if everything around you seems dim, you can always take action to create some semblance of light.

For instance, in the very beginning of my recovery, I had no idea how to start “being happy”. I tried a lot of things to get my mind off the negative thoughts, but I found exercise to be the most effective. It decreased stress, helped me focus throughout the day, and made me feel stronger during and after my workout.

Make a Mantra

Seriously, though, mantras help me through every part of my day.

I have a few, but the one I like to remind myself of is, “Live to be happy and be happy to live”.

Find a phrase, quote, or word that strikes a chord in you. Your mantra should give you strength when you need it in challenge moments.

A few others that I use:

– “She believed she could so she did”.

– “Nevertheless she persisted”.

– “Just breathe”.

– “Tomorrow is another day”.

You can say them out loud, but for social reasons, I tend to repeat inside my own head. 🙂

Give Happiness

I dare you to try to help someone else feel better, then feel depressed after. It’s impossible!

The feeling of giving happiness to someone else has a way of taking the heaviness out of your own life.

Now, I’m not saying, “Go help other people so that you never think of how depressed you are.”

On the contrary, I recommend you put yourself first. Take care of your mental and physical health, but after that therapy session or talk with a friend, go volunteer at a soup kitchen or volunteer at a church. You’ll be amazed what the combination will do for your spirits!

The Most Important Thing To Do Is To Make The Choice To Fight For Happiness

Letting life happen to you by default leaves you with very few options.

– Why can’t you be the one living the life you’ve always dreamed of?

– Why can’t you be the success story you read about in magazines?

– Why can’t you be the one to change the world?

Make the choice to change your life.

Make this your moment.



Hey there, I’m Brittney.

I’m an 18-year-old, Charleston college gal born n’ raised, just trying to do enough good to make this world go round one more time. I share vulnerable moments in my life in hopes of helping other people feel encouraged, empowered, and equipped to step out into the world with courage. 

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  • I just stumbled across this post and it was actually SO encouraging! I so relate to you and the journey you just shared <3 Thanks girl!!