School Related Anxiety

Alivia Mossler and Gabby Hanson, Journalists

“Anxiety disorders affect about 8% of adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18” (Sherrell).  Unfortunately, only 18% of teenagers who struggle with anxiety actually receive the help they need. The stereotypical high standards of American high schools, such as maintaining good grades, being in certain level classes, and going to college after graduation, add stress to the lives of most students. School-related anxiety is a huge problem that often gets overlooked. “School anxiety can affect students’ classroom behavior, academic performance, as well as social interactions” (Osorio). When struggling with school anxieties, it can become harder for students to hold onto the information they are learning, and it takes even more effort to participate and do well. 

Anxiety is defined as a persistent fear and can cause people to worry about everyday situations. Everyone’s anxiety looks different. This can sometimes involve sudden episodes of intense nervousness and fear that can peak within minutes. Anxiety is a widespread disorder that can be very debilitating for some students. 

When students at IHS were interviewed about how anxiety occurs in their daily lives, they all seemed to agree with the struggles and stress that comes with being in school. When asking senior Ethan Lombara what tends to give him the most anxiety in school, he replied, “Mostly tests, college (applications as well as tuition), my grades, and overall time management.” 

Although it is hard to be at school while experiencing anxiety, some interviewed students have said there are many great ways to release the stress. When asking Elijah Bergner what he does to relax when things get stressful at school, he says, “I find snacks or gum to help a bit. I’ll sometimes take walks – specifically, “pac and backs”, and especially fun classes like ceramics or engineering always help.” Most agree that any non-academic subject can help relieve some anxiety that occurs throughout the school day. 

There are many resources all around IHS, such as guidance counselors, adjustment counselors, as well as the nurses. These are great ways to cope for students because sometimes it helps just having someone to talk to. From 7:45 to 2:21, students are able to get the help and support they need. Our full-time adjustment counselors are Christine Ryan ([email protected]) and Kelly Scott ([email protected]). If you or friends around you are struggling, always know you can reach out.

When interviewing the high school art teacher, Ms. Morris, we asked her about her techniques when aiding a student with anxiety. Her response was, “I recognize that they are struggling, and make them feel seen and heard, sitting with them and comforting them. Also giving them physical and emotional support by knowing they are struggling. I am lucky to teach a subject to help with anxiety and help release stress, offering a break from the day even if it means missing some class work.” Ms. Morris recognizines her students as human beings. She realizes that it is more important to try to understand what they are going through on a personal level and find out how to help than it is to have them get an assignment turned in on time.  Lucky for us, there are many teachers at IHS like Ms. Morris who are very supportive. They know that many students can get overwhelmed easily and have anxiety that is present in their daily lives. These teachers will do all that they can to make their students’ feel comfortable and always provide help and assistance or solutions if needed. 

Overall, anxiety can look and feel different for every student. Many different factors contribute to a student’s anxiety such as students’ classes, extracurriculars, and their home life. For some, getting help and accepting that help is needed can be the most challenging part. The resources at IHS give hope and relief for students who are struggling, showing them that it can and will get better.