Pain is a Sign of Existance

Andrew McReynolds,
Mountain View, CA

How did we learn to not touch a hot stove? We experienced the pain.
How did we learn to not be manipulated in a relationship? We experienced heartache.

We are beings that are only created from experiences, be them good or bad. I may be a mid-twenties male, but I have no degree. I suffer from mental illness, but this illness is what has taught me what life really is. We cannot run from our pain, we have to make it part of us. If we let the pain in, put our fists up and fight for our right to live, only then are we alive. We do not exist without the painful experiences we have throughout our lives, and I am more than pleased with all the pain I have experienced. It has directed my education and I am inspired to help de-stigmatize mental illness and revolutionize higher education to support our youth in new, revamped ways.


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