Teen Life: By Students For Students

Ultimate Fear

Entering into a new environment while leaving your old community behind can be an exceedingly challenging and overwhelming obstacle students face, especially as a teenager. Attempting to assimilate as a new student can be especially difficult, and teenagers may come to the crossroad that leads them on a dark road of depression and social anxiety generated by the elemental fear of being alone.

Even though some individuals may seek comfort by being alone, in today’s society, the fear of being the school’s ultimate loser is implanted into teens’ minds as they strive to initiate relationships. This idea eventually brings concern for every adolescent. Due to this overwhelming anxiety, not everyone develops close relationships in the first few months when adapting into a different atmosphere. It is in these cases, people are more likely to possess a greater level of social anxiety and depression.

Wolters Kluwer, the author of Journal of Development & Behavioral Pediatrics, discovered that approximately 2.6 million American children and adolescents had been diagnosed with anxiety and/or depression in a 2011-12 report nationwide in America.

Dr. Bitsko, the coauthor of the journal, adds: “[t]hese estimates correspond with approximately two million children aged six to seventeen years in 2011-12 with current anxiety, 1.4 million children with current depression, 2.6 million with current anxiety or depression, and 760,000 children with both.”

These shocking statistics portray the fact that in school - to put it more broadly, in society - not everyone is as happy or perfect as they seem to be when placed in the spotlight. Moreover, everyone fears judgement from their peers and not living up to their “standards”.

In an ordinary situation, new students would pursue fitting in with the “popular”, outgoing peers and conform to any of their ideas and opinions, to feel accepted. Despite the current trend, squeezing into small opportunities in order to be a part of the “popular group” is never the best solution. Instead, as a more authentic resolution, students should attempt to seek trustworthy friends who make them feel comfortable for being themselves. This doesn’t only apply to classmates in the same class or grade; counselors, teachers, other staff members, and classmates from different grades are also people eager to establish a close relationship with new students.

Overall, it is never easy to be held in the spotlight by being the “newbie”. It is alright to feel a bit nervous and to be frightened about sitting at a lunch table alone. While many teenagers pursue the goal to fit into a distinct culture, it is more advantageous to form a comfortable atmosphere for themselves as it promotes strong relationships and maintains healthy mental habits.