Let’s be real here: school is a major source of mental health threats. Part of the reason why is because it’s often hard for students to juggle both academics and extracurriculars. Which leads us into our interviewee, Malachi Norrils, a 17 year old mental health advocate. In this interview, we will be discussing how Malachi Norrils juggles both school and band, if ecotherapy is actually affective, how veganism plays into mental health, and so much more!
Please introduce and tell us a little about yourself.
“My name is Malachi Norrils, I am 17 years old and junior in high school from Ohio. Fun facts about me are that I am one of 9 siblings, I’m vegan and I’m proficient in 3+ instruments.”
I hear that you’re vegan. Do you believe that a healthier diet could essentially better one’s mental-being?
“I absolutely agree that the quality of your diet contributes to mental health. I’ve found that for me cutting out meat and animal products made me feel better about my body and more conscious as a person. I don’t specifically recommend a vegan diet because everyone is different but I do believe everyone should pursue a healthy lifestyle that suites them.”
Drumming is known to relieve stress and help combat acute anxiety in some people. Do you believe that’s true for you as well?
“Drumming for me is a great way to build focus when actively reading and can be a great stress reliever by just hitting on drum. I also use it to escape the any issues that I may be having to just take time to get better at it.”
Do you believe that music in general has brought more positivity into your life?
” Music has absolutely changed my life and shaped who I am today. It’s definitely taught me many things about being patience, listening and appreciating little things that really bring something together. I definitely wouldn’t have the friends I have now without it in my life.”
You seem to be a lover of nature. Do you believe that ecotherapy is effective and should be more prevalent as a treatment option?
“For sure, people should definitely try to experience the best parts of nature more as it is a great stress reliever to just be in a different environment rather than inside.”
What does mental health mean to you?
“Mental health to me represents how you feel about yourself as a person and where you are in life and this can be very important. Naturally some things inhibit your ability to be truly content with who and where you are so it’s important to try to get to a point where you can tolerate yourself and accept that you have the power to change your perception of the world and that there are some things you don’t have control over.”
Tell me about your ability to work under pressure?
“Under pressure is when I work the most efficient and that leads to me putting a good amount of pressure on myself. This is normally me surrounding myself with people with the same goal, which is a form of peer pressure, to do better. I do enjoy trying to keep myself with some project whether it’s music or school related.”
How do you juggle both band and academics in a way that doesn’t cause excessive pressure and stress?
” I keep in mind that I personally need some pressure and stress to get me through some things but overall it just comes to time management skills I’ve developed over time with help from friends and teachers.”
Name a time when your patience was tested. How did you keep your emotions in check?
” I recently had a misunderstanding with one of my good friends that ended with them cutting off contact with me and that hurt a lot for a while. It’s really important for me to remember that there are things I can’t change and their emotions were one of them and it’s really important that I don’t make the situation worse and accept that things happen for a reason. It’s really important to feel the emotions because that’s a human thing to and absolutely talk through it with someone I trust because the second opinion is really important to recovering.”
Do you believe that you are a person that someone can talk openly about their feelings to?
“Absolutely! I like to think I’m a good listener but it’s very important to see a professional if you are having personal and/or severe mental health problems.”
It was great to have gotten to interview Malachi Norris and learn more about them! As always, remember your story does and always will matter.