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Ask a Teen

High School Anxiety

What Teens Say, What You Can Do

June 01, 2010
One extremely common anxiety shared by young teenagers is the high school. Teenagers dread not fitting in or getting bullied. What can one expect when going to into high school? I interviewed ten teens to get my facts straight. How important are first impressions? Do you venture out of your group of friends or keep it close to home? How about peer pressure and how important are sports? Results were mixed, but the answers were overwhelmingly similar.

"I would tell young teens to be open minded and to stay organized. I think that expectations set in middle school were unreasonable. I don't think that first impressions are that important. Also, mingling with cliques is a good thing to expand your horizons. I would be myself and don't take peer pressure. And yes, sports are fun and help you make friends." -Lynsey M.

"I thought that I would be flooded with peer pressure for sex and drugs. I think that high school is easy to cope with when you stop caring about everything. First impressions help with judgmental people. I tend to have the same friends but mingling with other cliques is fun. I didn't do sports but I was okay. I think that peer pressure is hard to resist." -Austin N.

"Don't try too hard because it's not that big of a deal. You don't have to do as much homework as you think you will. First impressions are usually accurate. Sometimes mingling with other cliques is bad. I think that peer pressure is hard to ignore and to say no. Sports can get you friends." -Luke C.

"I think that as long as you be yourself and be polite that people will like you and that first impressions are important. I think that you should mingle with other cliques because in life it is important to be social and mingling will help. You should say no to peer pressure and walk away. I think that sports don't make a difference, you either play or you don't." -Tra'Vonna J.

"I would tell young teens to be themselves. I first expected school to be huge with lots of new people but I realized that I already knew most of them since fourth grade. First impressions aren't everything. On the first day of school everyone goes back to their cliques so there is no need to make impressions. I make new friends. You just should say no to peer pressure. Sports make a difference so you can have fun, but you should balance school and homework too." -Bethany G.

"I think that a reputation shouldn't matter so people will take you seriously and care about you. In order to prevent caring, refuse peer pressure and make friends that you can trust. Do what you think is right." -Clare R.

"Yes, you do keep the same friends but you should be friendly and make new friends, as well. You should mingle with other cliques only if you are comfortable with them. You might just meet a new friend! I handle peer pressure by doing what I think would be right. You should stand your ground even if it is tempting. Don't change and people will respect you. I think sports are great to exercise and to hang out with friends. You can get involved with any after school activity and be fine." -Katie K.

"I think that you should read a lot of books. I thought I would be bullied freshman year, but I wasn't. I don't think first impressions are important and that people should know you in depth. I think that it's good to mingle with other cliques. I think that you should resist peer pressure and sports are fun but are not necessary. " -Mario B.

" I would say that you should stick to your studies focus. First impressions are very important to me. I keep the same friends, but mingle with other cliques and make new friends. I think that peer pressure is hard to resist and just use good judgment. Sports are not that important."-Jenn L.

"I would say to be yourself and be nice to people. You should not expect massive peer pressure like on the TV. Keep old friends but mingle. Sports are important to make friends" -Alyssa P.

Here are a few tips that parents can give teens to help ease the stress of high school:

1. Be yourself. It's easy to change yourself, but you should stick to your true colors because. In my own words, nobody likes a poseur and true friends accept you.

2. Be organized. You will have so much better grades if you take notes and organize them. Study a bit each night and you'll be fine. Help your child learn better methods of organization, study habits and tutoring, if necessary.

3. First impressions are important. Be polite and nice to other people in your school. Not everyone has to like you, but putting your best food forward will help ease stress and open the door to more friendships.

4. Just say no to peer pressure. Yes it's hard not to fit in, but think about how bad activities will affect you once you've done them. And if your teen does make a bad decision, open the door to ask that your child talk to you about it. Remember that you were a teen once, too. Sometimes, it takes making mistakes to learn from them.

5. Being in a school sport is fun, but so are club sports. Encourage your teen to try some new activities and groups to make friends. You don't have to like sports, but working with other students to learn more about other people and yourself is just as important and wonderful confidence builders.

Sophia Borzabadi is a fourteen year old and resides in Noblesville. Her hobbies include reading, acting, and writing. She plans on attending Notre Dame to pursue aeronautical and astronomical sciences.

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Tags: Education, Tweens & Teens

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