We are so excited to showcase another amazing feature this month: Panagiota Skoulikas who was recently apart of a Micro Project in Content Creation through McGill University where she was able to showcase her talent through poetry here at TAPP.

Currently, she is majoring in Psychology and studying two minors in Behavioral Science and Sociology at McGill University. Her interests revolve around music, she loves to sing, play the piano, and simply listen to music in her free time. She believes that music really mends the soul; she has a specific genre to listen to despite the mood she is in. She genuinely believes in the importance of mental health. As a person diagnosed with OCD and anxiety, learning about how one’s mental health can truly impact one’s happiness was a slow, difficult, but crucial process for her.

This month, she created this beautiful poem to display the struggles surrounding education and mental illness. Her poem is designated to her younger self, treating her with kindness and acknowledging her fears. She hopes that other students can read her poem and feel heard, while teachers and parents can have a better outlook on mental illness and treat students with kindness, as she did to her younger self through poetry.

Poem to My Younger Self

I wish someone had told me this when I was young
Your thoughts are just thoughts
Bad feelings come and go on their own
As do the good ones, so be present, tomorrow is unknown

You want to learn and need to understand
Mrs. Applebee caught you sleeping in class again
How could she know about your sleepless nights alone in bed?
Or the brainstorm of sticky thoughts inside your head

You are young, a whole life awaits
But your chest feels tight, and you forgot how to breathe
The walls close you in like a hug from 100 hungry crows
You pray to the man above for the help he could endow

One bad grade does not determine how smart you are
You are not a failure simply because that number tells you so
Stop the domino of thoughts as early as you can
Do not let this disastrous thinking affect your academic plan

You ask your teacher for the bathroom pass to get some air
You feel the gruesome stares from your classmates, they must think it is unfair
‘Bathroom breaks are at lunch time and recess’ says Ms. Applebee
You are stuck with this overwhelming pain for what feels like eternity
There it is! A feeling you catastrophized; It feels like you are in danger
How so? Does the feeling fit your situation or is it all in your head?
You tell yourself to calm down, let the feeling be, it will not last much longer
Although your mind tells you are weak, that was the first step to getting stronger