By Ainsley Jay
Kids nowadays have multiple assignments every day, social life, studying for tests, and have to deal with covid. It all can be very worrying and result in anxiety. Anxiety is common among middle school children. The only difference is that sometimes it can stem from different things. Anxiety can stem from social life, school work, how other people view you, or what seems to be a common factor nowadays is the pandemic.
Anxiety because of the pandemic & social life
Due to COVID-19 many kids have been suffering with anxiety. If a close contact happens, that can cause stress. Now that kids can take off their masks at school, it can cause anxiety for the students that do not feel comfortable with that. Students also get anxious because they might have to miss a couple of days of school or an activity causing them to fall behind. Not to mention kids worrying about how it might have affected them or their family’s health. The pandemic can additionally cause isolation, no social life, and difficulty with relationships amongst other kids their age. Even without a pandemic, being in middle school can make social life severe because of cliques or kids just feeling left out constantly.
One middle school student discussed with me how going online to in-person affected her, “Because I am in person, It is less stressful. Online you don’t have to get up as early. It is usually easier online. I think in-person has made me more social, my relationships have grown because we are all in the same situation.”
Another middle school student talked about the social life of the pandmeic, “Last year, I didn’t have many friends for elementary school and it was hard with the mask on. With a mask, you couldn’t really interact in a hybrid. From the school that I went to in elementary school, there were very few kids I knew,” said a middle school student.
The politics during covid can be difficult. A lot of people can be against the mask mandate. Once we remove it, a week after break, covid cases might rise. All around the country people die from covid,. Additionally, Wayland Middle School is lifting the mask mandate on March 7th. There has also been a survey sent out to all children in the middle school over gmail on lifting social distancing in the cafeteria, Sent by Mrs.Gavron. In the survey students were asked if they wanted to be moved to the cafeteria, not 6 feet apart, or if they would feel safer in the gym cafeteria 6 feet apart.
Anxiety because of school work
Sometimes students feel like there is so much happening to them and there is so little they can do about it. There is the constant feeling of falling behind. Such as having a bunch of assignments to do, but so little time to do them. Teachers may announce a test on Friday, but kids have only heard on Monday or later and they aren’t very confident in their skill in the subject. Sometimes with so much time we spend studying and doing homework students get very little sleep. Most of the time anxiety can just constantly cause us to stay awake at night.
School work can be a major cause of anxiety amongst the youth. Particular kids often feel like they’re always about to fall behind. They feel that constant need to get perfect scores on homework/tests. There is also the feeling of burnout from school work, when you have been doing so much assignment, and work, to the point where you can’t take it anymore. Most of the time to prevent burnout you need to take brakes or burnout to prevent the exhaustion.
What can we do about all this anxiety?
In middle school, especially in this day and age. Social media is a common thing with children, typically causing kids to lose friendships, or to compare themselves to others. Typically, comparison makes you feel as if you are not as good as you really are. Fights can start up on social media, kids can lose friendships, and feel deep despair. Social media can disrupt face to face interactions. However you can also use social media to connect with others and discuss new events. For instance, Wayland High School kids use facebook as a way to communicate for online events. Torn between talking to your parents about your day at school or looking at cute pictures of your favorite influencers trip to Hawaii? Truth be told, all of social media is nothing compared to having in-person conversations. Most likely, talking with real people can reduce your anxiety and make you feel happier.
Stress from schoolwork is a common cause of anxiety, the feeling of being burnt out is just exhausting, so remember to take breaks for a bit to clear your mind. Research shows that a walk in nature can make you feel better.
If the pandemic is causing you stress. It’s normal. Ever since 2020, during the pandemic, people have been anxious. You have kids losing friendships, doctors and nurses having to treat covid patients, and parents having to homeschool their kids. Remember you can always talk to a teacher or your guidance counselor about how you are feeling. Fortunately, we are in school now and can have in-person conversations every day.