The Day After, by Eli Miller

This morning, I woke up without feeling crippling fear and misery about the state of the world, even though there are currently 5 million refugees at the mercy of regional warlords in Syria, even though we live in a country that incarcerates 3 million of its people unjustly, even though one in 3 women I know will be or have been sexually assaulted, even though I live in a country that enslaved people and won't apologize for it, even though injustice and oppression are present everywhere.

I don't know how I did that, but there has to be a way that I can do it again, even though our president, “a sociopath, narcissist, cowardly baby” is now on this list. Because in addition to being terrifying, my crippling fear and misery are not productive; they won't help me focus my energy on what I can do to make things better.

I still love people, people still love me. Maybe that's enough to get me through the day without having a panic attack.

The writer is a 17-year-old high school senior in New York City.