A Beginner’s Guide to Anxiety in School

By Elena and Lily

Anxiety in school can be really difficult to deal with sometimes, especially with the prying eyes in school. Based on some of our personal experiences, we wanted to give you a guide to how to deal with anxiety at school and how you can mitigate your anxiety in school.

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Anxiety Because of Grades

Often, school tends to pile on. Homework, tests, and the thought of college can become really stressful especially if you’re also involved in extracurricular activities. 

Some advice we have for you here is to make a list of what your priorities are, in the order that they belong. If something is pretty low on your priority list, do your best not to stress out about it. 

You need to recognize that your grades don’t define you. I (Elena) used to stress myself out over having the best grades I possibly could. Before going into sophomore year, my viewpoint on grades changed. I still wanted to get good grades, but I stopped letting my life revolve around them. 

This viewpoint didn’t lower my grades. In fact, I think they increased. My anxiety, however, decreased.

Anxiety Because of Presentations

Another stressful part of school is presentations or big assignments. Especially if you don’t feel you’re prepared this can give you huge amounts of stress and anxiety. But in reality, this isn’t something to worry about.

First step to beating anxiety from this is to be confident in what you’re doing, that can be hard but if you prepare you’ll automatically feel better about it. For more tips on this you can check out our article on confidence here.

Take deep breaths before your presentations, what’s the worst that’ll happen really. You’re just another presentation in a long line and your classmates could probably care less, however, if you want them to care. Show it off and be confident. Take deep breaths and think over your presentation, you got this. Even if you’re not sure you’re confident, fake it till you make it. Once you start you won’t know the difference, and neither will your classmates.

Also find a friend or a good acquaintance in the class you can look to when you get nervous. Having to stare your peers and teacher in the face can be difficult, find a good friend you can look at to help you relax and feel better. 

Anxiety at School

Having an attack at school can be very difficult to deal with, whether it’s you or a friend who’s having one. In this section, we want to give some advice on how to deal with your own attacks, as well as how to help your friends.

If you’d like a couple of more tips on dealing with anxiety and stress in general, check our article from two months ago here.

You

When you’re having an anxiety attack, there’s a couple of different things you can do to help yourself. We’re going to break down our suggestions based on personal experience. 

Elena’s Tips 

If you’re having an anxiety attack, you should try to grab a friend and go somewhere a little bit more private, like the councilor’s office or the bathroom.

Once you’re somewhere more private, you’ll be able to calm your nerves a little bit more. Try and talk to your friend about what you think caused you the attack. Depending on what the issue is, your friend might be able to give you some advice. Talking to your friend will help.

If you can, drink some water to calm yourself. If you start to feel light headed, it might be a good idea to eat a small snack. During this entire time, make sure you remember to breathe. It might even do you some good to do some breathing exercises.

If you often have anxiety attacks, or you feel like you just have a lot of anxiety, it might be a good idea to carry around a small “toy” you can use. Some things I’ve used in the past include a mesh and marble fidget toy, a fidget cube, and rubix cubes. 

Lily’s Tips

The best thing to do for an anxiety attack is breathe. 

Practice deep calming breaths, try to breathe in for 8 seconds, hold it for 8, breathe out for 4, hold that for 4 and then relax and repeat. Make your breaths slow so you don’t hyperventilate and get dizzy.

Also, get out of the situation giving you anxiety. If you’re having an attack or a breakdown because of a test or stress, it’s ok to tell your teacher you can’t do it right at the moment. If you can, I recommend going to the counselors office to calm down, normally they can offer you consolation or tips when friends are busy. Also they have helped me in the past work out when I can take tests and things that are causing it at a later date, to lessen my anxiety and let me calm down. Your teachers will listen to the counselor, even if they won’t listen to you.

Go to a quiet place.If you can’t get to the counselor go to the bathroom, bring a friend if you don’t want to be alone. Even having an understanding friend there sitting with you can be comforting, but, if you’d rather be alone you can also be alone. Figure out what’s causing your anxiety and practice breathing to calm down without distractions.

Your Friend

If your friend is having an anxiety attack, you should try to bring them somewhere a little more private as you would if it was you. Do your best to talk to them, and try to get them outside of their heads. 

Take your friend through some sensory exercises, such as breathing exercises or having them name things they can hear, touch, smell, and feel. You might even want to have them do some counting exercises. 

Get your friend some water, or even some food if you think it might help. An attack can be draining, and replenishing some of these nutrients will really help.

Just be there for your friend, and make sure they don’t feel alone. That’s the most important thing that you can do. Make them feel heard, and try your best to understand them. 

If your friend needs it, you might want to give them a little bit of space, but don’t just leave them completely on their own unless you feel certain they can handle it. 

Thank you so much for reading today’s article! If you enjoyed it or learned something from it, leave a like and a comment. If you enjoy our articles, please subscribe to our rss feed and follow our blog. For more content, follow our social media and patreon, all of which will be linked down below. We hope you’ll enjoy our article coming out on Wednesday about self love. Stay safe, good luck with the oncoming school year, and keep on overachieving!

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