Ah, it’s back to school time. Ambition and excitement crackle through the air, wardrobes are new and hip, school supplies actually resemble school supplies instead of jumbles of paper and chicken scratches. For Teenager 1, back to school for his senior year is a breeze. Easy peesy. A walk in the park. He’s taking four AP classes, Math-letes is just around the corner, and he can’t wait to apply his technical knowledge to build a new robot in his after school Robotics club.
For Teenager 2… Gasp! (Insert frightening crescendo here) FRESHMAN YEAR…….(dunt dunt duhhhh)
While Teenager 1 approaches new things with his classic “meh” attitude, Teenager 2 is not so lucky. Being a natural over-planner and worry wort, she has begun to plan nearly every scenario for freshman year in her head. Instead of alleviating her anxiety, she panics herself to the point where she can’t think straight.
Me: Do you know where you need to go to get your new text books?
Normal Teenager 2: Hm, I’m not sure but let me check. They probably have it online.
Freaked out Teenager 2: I don’t know. I don’t know anything, I just, I don’t know. This is going to suck. All the kids in my program are going to be weirdo nerds and I’m going to be the only normal one. I’m not going to make any friends and all the kids from my middle school who are going to my high school are all going to make fun of me. I was stupid enough to sign up for this program and I’m not going meet any cool people. I’m going to be shunned by the entire school and everyone is going to think I’m a total loser. (Add the look of a lost puppy and the image is complete).
Me: Um, I have a feeling we’ve moved on from textbooks.
Teenager 2: I don’t know.
(Sigh). Going to new school and being a freshman is tough, but she takes it to the next level. She wants to get good grades, but not be “that” girl. She wants to hang out with popular people but not do anything bad that would get her in trouble, thus circling back to being “that” girl.
We have tried to remind her that getting into this prestigious program at her new high school is a great thing. She will most likely get a full ride anywhere, it’s excellent college prep, and it looks very good on job applications. We’ve also reassured her that she is beautiful, funny, smart, talented, etc. etc. but it all falls on deaf ears.
Although she is freaking out, I know that after the first week (if not the first day) she is going to have to so many stories about all the cool people she has met and these anxiety jitters will be long forgotten.
Getting through said jitters until then…… oh my God.