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Life in the Bubble

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Life in the Bubble

Source: dzentlmenis.lv

Source: dzentlmenis.lv

Source: dzentlmenis.lv

Source: dzentlmenis.lv

By Annette Chu, Staff Writer

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It’s a new year and we have a new batch of freshmen entering our school. Along with entering a brand-new school, they have to deal with the social pressure and the judgement from the upper classmen. Not just freshmen, however, but students from all grade levels experience the same pressures. Social anxiety plays a role in a lot of Miami High students’ lives.

 

Anxious at Miami High

Sophomore Luismari Ramirez said, “I have bad social anxiety. It’s due to how much I was bullied during elementary and middle school. During elementary, I always felt so shut out and excluded from everything. People would make me feel awful for things that I liked, and if I tried to talk with anyone, they would always ignore me. As I grew up, it just led to me not talking to anyone, and if anyone talked to me first, I would get scared and not know how to respond. If I did that, it would be cold and off-putting.”

Junior Jiuber Mena said, “I do have social anxiety caused by conversations involving my opinion because I want to make people happy and like to see them smile. When I’m in a debate where the tone is serious, I get nervous and scared to the point I stay quiet.”

A female freshman who chose to anonymous said, “I do suffer from it and it’s from being around people, because I tend to over think about how I perceive myself, and how people think of me.”

 

What Is Social Anxiety?

According to the website for the Social Anxiety Institute, social anxiety is “the fear of being judged and evaluated negatively by other people, leading to feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, self-consciousness, embarrassment, humiliation, and depression.”

Teenagers in high school have the need to fit in with their peers. School makes teens fear judgment on anything. This can lead students to want to buy brand-named clothes, over analyze their appearance, self-hate, fear speaking in public, and avoiding social places.

 

Is It Worth It?

   People can be self-conscious about anything and everything—their hair, their clothes, even the way they walk. A lot of the times, the things we are anxious about can be irrational.

Junior Keilyn Delgado said, “I tend to get anxious over my grades, test scores, school, and the future. I do think it’s bad to get anxious over these things as these are things that aren’t really going to matter in the future. For example, when I’m 36 and doing whatever, I don’t think a random stranger is going to pop out of nowhere and ask, ‘What did you get in chemistry? You passed/failed?’”

Jiuber Mena said, “I do get self-conscious around people, including my friends. I just feel that at any moment, my friends can leave me and despise me for a small comment I could have made. I also don’t want to make people hate me, so I try to portray a calm, likeable character. I think the cause of this problem was the loss of friends in the past. I thought I was good enough and my relationship with my friends was strong, yet almost all of them left, and I lost the courage to contact them in order to revive the friendship. I do think that my anxiety is irrational. They are just personal experiences that I have had. Other people could have different experiences in this subject and have the possibility of having friends forever. But my experiences all ended abruptly, and it shocks me how fast a person can change.”

 

Teachers’ Advice

Teachers’ jobs, along with teaching, involve helping students when needed. P.E. teacher Mr. Carreno tries to teach his class about self-value. He has lessons on self-confidence and having high self-esteem. Mr. Carreno said, “The biggest advice I have is to be nice, but don’t allow yourself to be bullied. Stand up for yourself and make friends who will help you out.”

English teacher Ms. Rodgers said, “Some advice that I have for new students would be to try to find new ways to get involved. Miami High is notorious for its school spirit, and there are many organizations that fit a multitude of interests. You won’t know if you want to be involved with something until you try it.”

 

Dealing with Social Anxiety

Social anxiety, according to the website Anxiety BC, starts at a young age with factors like bullying and comparing yourself to peers. Students don’t have many resources to help find a solution, which can lead to many students turning to drugs and alcohol and other dangerous activities.

Social anxiety is difficult to deal with. While some people have to take medications or go to therapy, others don’t get these benefits. Students in Miami High have different ways of coping.

Jiuber Mena said, “If I have to face my social anxiety of expressing my opinion, I create a different version of myself. People call it a ‘façade’ which is like a mask I can hide behind. I don’t like it, but I do it to get by the situation.”

A female 10th grader who chose to remain anonymous said, “Dealing with it for me is basically, telling myself that validations from others don’t matter, and my opinions on myself matter more.”

A female freshman who also chose to remain anonymous said, “I try to stay alone and be by myself most of the time, so I don’t cause attention.”

Luismari Ramirez’s biggest way to deal with it is just by listening to music. “It’s not a good way to deal with it,” she said, “but if I have music on, I don’t listen to anyone, and they won’t talk to me.”

On the other hand, some students don’t do anything to deal with their social anxiety. Junior Luis Rey said, “I don’t know how to stop myself from fearing what people think about me.” A female sophomore tries to ignore her anxiety because if she needs to speak in front of people, there is no way to avoid it.

 

Saying No to Social Anxiety

There are some students who are lucky to not suffer from social anxiety. There are things they do to prevent their minds from attracting it. Junior Daniel Gravier said, “My motivation is through the roof. I always look at myself in the mirror in the morning after I wake up, and tell myself, ‘You’re beautiful, and people love you.’ You shouldn’t have social anxiety. Literally the way I put it is, no one in high school cares how you look or act. It’s high school. Teenagers are weird.”

Sophomore Carlos Martinez-Busta said, “I don’t have social anxiety, but a way I deal with it is always going and joining as many clubs as possible, so I can meet new people and have fun with them.”

 

Ways to Overcome Social Anxiety

  • Find the cause of it.
  • Practice doing the things that are causing it. As you do it, you’ll get used to it and it’ll no longer affect you.
  • Find friends who will help you.
  • Try to find an adult to talk to or get a therapist.
  • Practice deep breathing, because anxiety can increase your breathing speed.

 

Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/anxiety-files/201410/how-overcome-your-social-anxiety

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About the Writer
Annette Chu, Editor-In-Chief

Sophomore in Journalism 2

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