The Anxiety Students Face because of Schedule Changes


Haylie Adame

GV student showing current schedule

When coming back from winter break, there are always sudden changes in many students’ schedules. The result of this is students feeling a lot of strong emotions, since the changes are irreversible and unpredictable– one of these emotions being anxiety.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 31.9% of teens have an anxiety disorder, and it was significantly higher in girls than boys. This statistic suggests that a fair amount of teens have significant anxiety or a mental health disorder. What students or really anyone feel about change is the fear of the future or unknown.

When it comes to students being informed on their class changes in the next year, they should know immediately and in a timely manner. Students deserve that respect and communication.

One of our lovely counselors, Mr. Pellegrin, expressed, “It is reasonable, I think students have a right to know why and when.” He also added that counselors want to hear from students and are always open to talking or freezing your schedule if per say you need to stay in your class.

Mrs. Maryann Navia, another GV Counselor, added , “As counselors, if you do feel a certain way, come talk to us,” hoping to reassure those who need that extra reminder.

One thing these two counselors brought into discussion was that sometimes schedule changes come from balancing classes, semester classes, and teachers moving… all things which affect students.

[To combat this anxiety and stress], students should remember a time where you were successful during specific changes.

— Mr. Christensen, GVHS campus therapist

Mr. Christensen, who is Golden Valley’s on-campus therapist, added that, “I think the biggest issue for all of us is we get very comfortable in our routine. Our routines are very predictable, so there’s a sense of security that comes with predictability.” With this, as teens we want to feel comfortable and have security in the things we do everyday.

Christensen also mentioned, “anticipatory anxiety,” which means someone has a thought about a future event, and it creates a more negative outcome than reality. Anticipatory anxiety is a fear or worry that bad things will happen in the future.

As a whole, teens should definitely prepare themselves for an unplanned change and give themselves time to adjust. Christensen also suggested, “students should remember a time where you were successful during specific changes. Sometimes school changes are on a scale from 1-10 more like a 2 or 3 compared to other life changes or adaptations.” Putting life and possible change in perspective is also another way to help these possible stressful and anxious changes.

Times can seem hard, just know that it will get better and breakthrough is coming from these changes whether it be from school or life.