Anxiety

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Anxiety

Photo by Christina Morillo, Pexels

Photo by Christina Morillo, Pexels

Photo by Christina Morillo, Pexels

Nicholas Bussey

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Whether it’s a giant presentation, or just a conversation with friends, most Whitney Young students have faced anxiety at some point. It could be an anxiety disorder with trends of anxiety, or just occasional anxiety. Either way, anxiety is a major issue that often goes acknowledged but not taken seriously, especially at a school such as Whitney Young where there is a constant pressure to be up to par with everyone else around you. One senior suggested that “a lot of people perceive anxiety as just a fear, something like being afraid of doing poorly on a test. But for me often times it’s overwhelming shame; I feel unequipped to handle doing poorly in front of others.” That shame makes it difficult to excel in anything requiring students to perform or present in front of their classmates, making anxiety an issue not only for students’ social development, but more importantly for their intellectual development.

Looking forward, the next step is to be an understanding peer and to acknowledge as a school that it is okay not to be 100% every day. An anonymous senior proposed changing homework into extra credit, saying “if you don’t do it, too bad. You just won’t be up-to-date and won’t do as well on the test.” While that is one possible option, that would weight tests more heavily and add more stress compared to a more even distribution of grades.

Meanwhile, another student believes “the school as a whole could do a better job of becoming more aware of the effect that anxiety can have on people’s daily lives. Sometimes it’s hard to participate or put forth 100% effort into something every single day and the standard of excellence that Whitney Young places on students can be a stressful one to live with. I think if spreading the message that it’s okay to not always be at your best, awareness regarding anxiety could improve.”

If you feel anxious and want help, you should stop in super quick to see your counselor and get an insight on ways to deal with the anxiety- it doesn’t hurt. The counseling suite is open throughout the school day, and before/after school.

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