This is it. I’m going into my final year of high school, and I didnt think I would ever make it.
I have never talked about my experience in high school to many people. I just tell them that frankly, I’m extremely happy it is only 4 years and I never have to go back.
Honest opinion of high school from a teenager: it’s a terrifying roller coaster. You think you’re about to fall off the edge and then it turns you another way. At times, it can be smooth sailing and you stop and appreciate the view of your surroundings. Other times you feel like your entire world has turned upside down and the up and down will never stop. But then its over, and you cant decide if that ride of a year made you want to just run away, or go for another ride.
High school has not always been easy. I wrote this to myself in my sophomore year:
“12 months ago I didn’t really expect to be here. I didn’t really expect to still be breathing. 12 months ago I was fully giving up. My anxiety was at its worst, I had depression, and I was contemplating why I was still around. My father and I had a lot of issues. We had a lot of them in the past and still do even to this day. I had no friends except for one. And I was losing her as well. 12 months ago I felt the most alone I have ever felt in my lifetime. 12 months ago I was in the worst state I have seen myself ever before and I wasn’t expecting myself to get better because I thought the world hated me. There was a drastic change in my life that tipped me over the edge I wasn’t expecting to recover from it. In 12 months I have. My anxiety has lessened to the point where I can walk into a room full of people and not want to break down. I’m not as sad although I do have those days where I’m not okay but I am working on it. I have worked through most of my insecurities and now I’m starting to like what I see in the mirror and appreciate myself more. I’m starting to become more confident and secure in who I am as a person. In 12 months I have gained lifelong friends with lifelong memories. In 12 months I have learned that even at your worst even when you feel like you can’t move forward, you can. I’m 12 months I have learnt that one day you will be okay. One day you will stand back for a second and realize how far you have come. A year ago I did not think I would be in a happy relationship. A year ago I didn’t think I would have friends. A year ago I didn’t think I would be able to cut out my dad out of my life. A year ago I did not think I would ever be able to fall asleep without crying. A year ago I did not think I would make it past sophomore year. But I did. A year ago I did not think I would be writing something like this. But I am. And I’m forever grateful that I pushed through everything cause I didn’t think I would be able to.”
I was at my very best in high school. I had a GPA of about 3.3, which is a lot better than the 0.6 GPA I had as a freshman. I met my boyfriend, had an amazing group of friends, and started to like school again.
Over the summer I could sense that my anxiety was coming back full blast again, the depression too. I started having days where I didnt want to go out or talk to anyone even though nothing had happened to me or caused it. I was so confused.
My cousin then came to visit me for a couple weeks and that brought my spirits back up and I felt completely fine again. Actually, a lot more than fine, I felt like I was on the top of the world. When she left, I carried on feeling that way until the first week into August. The thought of going back to school every day made me terrified. I couldn’t handle thinking about it and the first day of school I ended up waking up at 5, not being about to fall back asleep, and throwing up because I was stressed about the year ahead of me.
if only I knew how to prepare myself.
The first semester was going great until about November. By then I was doing okay in school, but I just hated going and figured that I could push through it. After the week off for Thanksgiving, I didnt want to go back. I knew there was only a month until Christmas break… but at the time it seemed like it was never going to come. I felt so trapped just being there every day. Just being at school gave me anxiety. It was beyond hard for me to pay attention because the only thing on my mind was “I need to get out of here”. I couldn’t think about the school work. I just kept thinking that I was going to have an anxiety attack. I kept thinking about how much school effects me. I started falling behind on the work and i would go home and try to my homework, and I would just end up sleeping or crying because i felt like i couldn’t understand any of it. i felt stupid. Stupid for not being able to understand chemistry or solve a simple math problem.
In December, i felt something inside me break. I couldn’t handle anything anymore. But i put on this front like i could, just like the saying goes- fake it till you make it.
I was too exhausted to fake it. too exhausted to go to classes that i couldn’t understand but try to act like i did. I couldn’t fake it anymore. I just couldn’t handle sitting at school.
I gave it my all from January to March. It was so hard waking up every day to go to a place that made me feel my worst. I felt alone. This is nothing to do with my school either because it is a really good high school and I wish I could’ve had a better experience with it. The counsellors there are amazing, the teachers, for the most part, are compassionate and understanding. The staff there is welcoming and they try your best to help you feel like you aren’t alone, that you aren’t suffering. I know they help a lot of kids too, but I couldn’t handle being there and i still don’t know the exact reason why.
I was done by April. I gave up and i started missing school. It started off by just a couple classes and then it turned into whole days. I would drive to school just to sit in the parking lot and have an anxiety attack and go home. I would try to calm down but the minute i got there i felt weak. I felt like i couldn’t do it.
I ended up applying for Independent Studies by May. I knew it was too late to go into it for this school year, but I know this is the right decision for senior year.
Junior Year was the worst year of high school for me. My anxiety and depression got the better of me. I know a lot of people will view it as its just a teen hating school, but its a lot worse than that. I would do ANYTHING just to feel okay at school, but i dont at all.
Some things in life we cant deal with and we cant push through. Sometimes it is better to put your mental health first, then to sacrifice it and spiral downhill.
- Suicide Prevention Hotline: Helpline: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)24 HR
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline: 1-800-950-6264 (NAMI)10A.M. – 6P.M. EST
- Boys Town National Hotline: 1-800-448-300024 HR
- Teen Line: 1-310-855-HOPE (4673) or 1-800-TLC-TEEN (852-8336)COUNSELLING SERVICES FROM 6P.M. TO 10P.M. PST
I love you and it will be okay. You can make it to the next day even if it feels like you have nothing left. I promise that you will be able to see the light in the dark.
WHO TO TALK TO AT SCHOOL WHEN SCHOOL IS TOO MUCH:
My advice about this is reaching out to your parents or a parental figure that you can go to for advice. Reach out to the school. Most school (I don’t know if all do) have on campus counsellors for kids to see. Talk to your Academic Counselor (AC) as well. They can walk you through it and help you every step of the way. Most of all, talk to your teachers, they see you every day and if you don’t then they cant read your mind and understand why you are missing their class, I say that from experience. I was always scared to talk to them, I thought they wouldn’t understand. Teachers are people too and I think students forget that they do have hearts and they do care about their students. Schools are dedicated to helping you feel safe and secure and they can help you find a solution, whether it is independent studies, homeschooling, or just simply allowing you to take breaks in the office if your mental health is affecting you in class. My comment section is always open too!