What it means to have anxiety in high school

What it means to have anxiety in high school

Maddie Zeller, Editorialist

Everyday there is an exorbitant amount of pressure that I place on myself to meet personal expectations. Many don’t understand what it means to have anxiety, and although things may seem to be together on the outside, there is a lot of mental strife that happens behind closed doors.

Since I was about twelve years old , I have  had an awareness of my peers’ success. This has caused me to constantly question my ability as a student, leader, and friend. Feelings such as this have since morphed into a sense of competition when it comes to having good test scores, best performance in the class, connecting with my teachers and peers, as well as many other daily occurrences. This way of thinking is exhausting and some days I find it hard to see the bigger picture. When you’re in high school, it is almost as if everyone has their eyes on you at all times. 

But one of the most important lessons that I have learned over the years is that anxiety can’t always be used as an excuse, especially when it comes to how I treat those around me. Having anxiety comes with a surplus of emotions, both good and bad. At times those emotions materialize into outlashes towards other people, including my closest friend and family. This is not okay and I know that. It is important to find any sliver of positivity to aid in the end of spiraling thoughts that often take up so much energy. More importantly, surrounding myself with people that have experienced some of the same struggles and creating an environment in which I don’t have to fake anything is something that I have found to be comforting. I have also learned that holding judgement and anger towards other people when they don’t always follow through in all facets of our relationship goes against every part of who I am as a person. Knowing that those who I spend time with also share similar struggles comes with an obligation of mutual respect and understanding.

It is important to continue having real and raw discussion with others about how every day, or even long term stress impacts us students. These conversations open up new doors towards creating a safe and nurturing environment for the Greeley West community.