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I’m going to be honest-I never thought I’d be someone who would suffer from school-related anxiety. Occasionally, I’ve been nervous before a big project or presentation, but never did I think I would get this feeling every school day. Entering my first semester of Junior year in the fall, I was putting so much pressure on myself to be the best student.

From actively participating to making sure I got the best grade possible on every assignment, I was determined to get the perfect GPA. In the end, yes, I got the grades I wanted- but I was suffering in different aspects that I didn’t realize until recently. Even the smallest of assignments were giving me anxiety, and I even started losing my hair. When I ate, sometimes my appetite would go away because I was stressing thinking of everything I had to do. Because of this, I would force myself to put the tv on to distract myself from remembering my to-do list.

Before most of my classes, I would start to sweat just from putting pressure on myself to participate a lot. On the days that I only participated once, I would feel so down for the rest of the day because I knew I could have done better. I was striving for perfection and it was taking a negative toll on my health. I was barely eating and sleeping, and I didn’t care because my mindset prioritized school over health. Once it got too overwhelming, I knew something had to change because I couldn’t continue on like this. 

This may sound too easy, but exercising outside and sleeping more helped me immensely. I think too often we forget that there is life outside of school and when you go for walks, you start to remember other important things in your life that will motivate you in a positive way. Also, I started putting a time limit on my phone so I would get an adequate amount of sleep. This made me feel more energized and suffer from much less anxiety. As I continue this semester, I still get anxiety, but I always remind myself that perfection just isn’t realistic. If you know you’re doing your best, that’s better than any level of perfection.

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