I'm a 21-year-old man who moved to the US from Pakistan in my early teens. If you would have asked me three years ago if I struggled...
Ever since I started ballet when I was 5 year old, dance has always been my go-to to release any tensions I feel. I know, what could a 5 year old possibly be stressed about. But even being that young, dancing was a way to embody the better half of you people don’t normally see. I have always been a shy person and to this day that hasn’t changed much, no matter how much I tried to be less of it.
But what has stayed is my dedication to dance as a release from the outside world and the stress that builds up inside me. Dance is not a distraction from the stresses and pains in my life, but rather a healthy way to get through them instead of avoiding them.
Now as a college student, I have been more aware of mental health around me in my community at home as well as on campus.
Watching the people that I love that are affected by their mental health breaks me and I know there is no one right way to help them, but by being by their side and watching them take on hobbies or passions that they love, including dance or music, puts a smile back on my face. They are the ones that taught me how to handle my own stresses and roadblocks in my life by showing me what truly makes me the happiest and purest, and that will always be through dance.