TAPinto TEEN LIFE-a section where teens can share their personal stories, advice and adventures. 

Ah, school - where sweet kids become hormonal teens in a span of 12 or less years. In sixth grade,  I had a strong group of friends, good grades, and excelled in competitive dance outside of school. Everything was going great until around December, when anxiety hit. Feelings I thought I could easily avoid then progressed into a whirlwind of issues and unfortunate events. 

I have always been a shy kid. I was never a social butterfly or extroverted person. Because of this, I often mistook my anxiety with coming of age awkwardness. I was told from a young age that I was insightful when it came to my own issues, and taught that it was normal to feel nervous when talking to new people. Don’t get me wrong, I knew what anxiety was. Many of my family members struggled/struggle with anxiety, depression, and or addiction. I just thought it was something people dealt with as an adult, not as a 12 year old.

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I pushed down these awful thoughts and feelings until I couldn’t anymore. Soon enough, I began to refuse to go to school because my breakdowns were too much for me to handle in a public setting. To be honest, I didn’t truly feel like myself for years. My mind was overflowing with so many negative thoughts that my panic attacks filled up my whole schedule. Crowds, never ending hallways filled to the brim with kids, large school events like sports games and dances - these were things that caused me constant dread.

After three years of attending school in fragments and fighting with the school district’s poor mental health services, we finally had to take it a step up and call a lawyer. It took a while, but I now attend the Collier Youth Services High School in Marlboro and will be a sophomore in this coming school year. This school specializes in mental health and also has only small class environments for students who cannot cope in a public school. This educational facility provides certified counselors that each student is meant to see once a week, while also having group therapy sessions for the students to partake in. 

Not only does Collier have great learning environments and specialized teachers, it also supplies the students with fun clubs and activities almost every Friday, in order to relieve stress from the busy school week. I personally joined cheerleading, supernatural club, forensic files/cases, school store, and was chosen as the vice president of the National English Honors Society for the upcoming school year of 2019.  There is a plethora of clubs, plays, and music shows to join that allow each student to showcase their abilities. 

Collier High School has helped me through my anxiety so much. The small class sizes make it easier to make friends and excel in your academics. It also makes me remember that I am not alone with my mental illness, and reminds me that it is okay to ask for help. I would like to thank Collier for everything they have done for me so far. I am the happiest I have ever been because of the counselors, teachers, and friends that this school has graced me with. 

For more information about Collier Youth Services, click here

If you are a teen who would like to submit content to the teen section email jwall@tapinto.net