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This I Believe: I Believe in Asking for Help

Kayla Adkins midshot
Beatrice Bonner
NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS
Kayla Adkins - Springfield High School

When a child is faced with a difficult task, they usually are not afraid to ask for help. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized asking for help is not as easy as it was when I was a kid. Maybe I had simply gotten used to hearing people tell me to problem solve on my own, or it could be I saw asking for help as a sign of weakness. No matter what my reasoning may have been, I now believe asking for help is not only important but an act of great strength.

There are a lot of things that make me anxious, and for a long time, anxiety was just another thing I needed to work out for myself. It was hard for me to articulate to people how I was feeling, and there was also the thought others would think I was being overly dramatic. Eventually, there were days when anxiety became paralyzing. There were times I felt sick, couldn’t eat, or even had to leave school. I reached a breaking point, and I had to reach out for help. I found comfort in my family, who helped me find a counselor that was able to help me find ways to manage anxious feelings. Looking back, I wish I would have asked for help a lot sooner.

The stigma around mental health is a problem I have come to recognize in day-to-day life. I’ve had close relationships with people who think the same way I used to; they think they need to carry their burdens all on their own. I want to show them that it isn’t true and going to someone they trust and asking for help can make them feel that much stronger. Now, I try to be a person others can come to if they need help. Whether it be lending a hand or being a listening ear, I want others to know they are worth others’ time and energy. Maybe I could become the counselor I desperately needed for someone else one day.

I believe in asking for help, and the thing is, it doesn’t have to apply only to daunting situations; it can show leadership and strength in any area of life. Working together is almost better than working alone. Even though I asked for help when things were really hard, I try to take what I learned from that experience into everything I do. It has made me a better leader who can delegate and ask for assistance on a project and someone who is willing to be a helper when someone else is struggling. By learning it's okay to ask for help, I have learned the value of helping others. I believe in asking for help.

This I Believe Illinois is NPR Illinois' annual essay program for Illinois high school seniors. An expression of where their minds are as they prepare to enter the adult world. This I Believe was started by radio journalist Edward R. Murrow in 1951 to allow anyone able to distil the guiding principles by which they lived. Special thank you to our sponsors: The Rotary Club of Springfield Sunrise, State Journal-Register, BLH Computers, KEB, Marine Bank, and Roni Mohan of RE/MAX Professionals Springfield.

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