By Dylan Mast
Pressure. Part of life, part of nature. What can seem as to be an insurmountable obstacle when applied to the psyche of a teenager. The fear of not succeeding, superseding all other thoughts and emotions. High school is full of expectations from a variety of people and figures: coaches, teachers, parents, friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, all contributing to the formation of a mental breakdown. I have seen this happen to people around the school – my friends – falling victim to the weight of expectations.
As teenagers we tend to blow things out of proportion and make the most minute issue the focal point of our anxiety. When these thoughts, emotions take control is when things spiral. This then opens the gates to a flood of emotions: anxiety, fear, frustration. Reaching a fever pitch; boiling up to the surface until it begins to overflow.
How we process it as individuals varies greatly. Some have no problem talking through their problems, some don’t think anyone will understand, and some don’t want to be a strong for the people around them. Strength is not a measure of how much you’re willing to hold to yourself, but a measure of capability to recognize your own weakness.
Stress is indifferent and indiscriminate. It senses is when we are at are weakest, when we are in the need of the most help. When we feel as if there is no one around that knows our pain, our insecurities. Such is the folly of complex and sophisticated emotions; however, this also gifts us with empathy. With such an ability we are able to truly understand others.
Though empathy is when the weight of the world lifts off the shoulders of those in pain. Not simply acknowledging someone’s pain, but truly feeling their pain as your own. By showing that those who are struggling that you know the pain, that you can feel the pain they’ve thought was just theirs; this is when the pressure begins to leave. Once we expose ourselves to be weak is when we can truly be free of our insecurities and stress.
Expectations are simply part of high school. The moment anxiety brought upon by the pressure and stress of high school is when cracks form upon the psyche of a teenager. Something as a collection that teenagers overlook is, how similar we really are.
As much as we may feel alone or deprived there is always someone shares the same feeling. Connect. Reach out to people, there will be someone for you to confide in. Someone that shares your pain, your strife, your anxiety. High school is for discovery. Discover the connection that we all share.