My School Struggle and Future Career

One in five teenagers suffer from mental health disorders, and only 40% of teens with mental health issues actually graduate from high school (ACMH ‘Problems at School’). That means in a school of 200 students, 24 students don’t graduate. The numbers may not seem so drastic, but 24 students is enough to fill up a whole classroom. But why does mental health have such a huge impact on teenage graduation rates? Teenagers deal with a great amount of internal and external struggles during the most awkward years of their lives.

They are expected to face and cope with drama, anxiety and family issues, all while trying to discover who they are. Mental health issues not only affect their emotional well being, but it affects their physical health and work ethic as well too. My experience as a highschool student with a mental health disorder was terrible. I remember sitting in class, avoiding my work and thinking ”what’s the point?”. Overcoming the drama, anxiety and family troubles that I faced as a teenager was extremely hard to do, but the lessons that I learned during the endeavor made me come to the realization that I want to study psychology and help teenagers through their own struggles.

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Teenagers deal with drama such as rumors, arguments, and breakups frequently in high school. I had experienced drama all throughout high school and found it extremely mentally exhausting, but losing my best friend of seven years was the most draining. Me and my best friend had always argued like sisters, but we would always forgive each other and move past our petty disagreements.

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Then one day me and her got into an argument that we couldn’t move past. We had a huge fallout and decided to never speak again.

Losing her was painful on its own, but soon rumors began to circulate and I felt my self esteem deplete as I realized my reputation as a trustworthy person was being tarnished. I faced the loss of my bestfriend and the rumors by ignoring the anger and pain that I felt. It didn’t take long for me to push people away and become a cold and unreachable person. I had only accepted shallow friendships and relationships from that point forward, and never really bothered to form a bond with anyone new. I knew what I was doing was hurting me, but I couldn’t stop it, my self esteem was so low that I didn’t care to do what was best for me anymore. This self-destructive behavior went on for months until I decided to end one of the toxic relationships I had gotten myself into during my period of grief. After cutting that person out of my life, I felt like I had a clean slate. Rumors still continued to circulate, but I didn’t care anymore because I had realized the true value of friendship and self-love.

I reconnected with the people I had pushed away, and began taking better care of myself. I stopped forming shallow friendships and I really started to take note of what mattered to me the most, like my family and the friends who genuinely supported me. My experience with drama had made me realize my morals, make my own goals and ultimately helped me grow as a person. However, although the outcome was worth the pain, the stress and grief that losing friends and dealing with drama causes, is something that nobody should face alone. I dealt with my pain in extremely unhealthy ways, and I want to prevent teenagers from going down the same destructive path that I took. Becoming a psychologist can give me the opportunity to give teenagers healthy ways to cope with drama and the self-esteem issues that drama could cause. The lessons that I learned by losing such an important friend and the ridicule I had gotten from it were vital to my own personal growth, and as a psychologist, I want to share them with teenagers who face issues with drama similar to my own.

Drama isn’t the only thing that is hurting teenagers’ mental health. In highschool teenagers are expected to excel in their academics and any extracurricular activities they do despite the incredible amount of pressure that is put on them. The pressure that family members, teachers and coaches can put on a teenager to pass their test or score a goal can cause extreme anxiety and as a high school student and soccer player, i experienced anxiety first hand. My family insisted that if i didn’t maintain all A’s i wasn’t trying hard enough in school, and if i wasn’t a starting player in soccer, then i wasn’t trying hard enough in my extracurriculars either. All the ridicule that i faced had made me self conscious, and i assumed that i just wasn’t good enough. So every test that i took and every game that i played was agony, my anxiety would get so bad that i would uncontrollably shake and throw up. I would wake up dreading going to school and practice because I was afraid of embarrassing myself, my family and my coach. It got to the point where I had no motivation to succeed in any aspect of life anymore. Then one day after getting ridiculed by my family for playing a really rough game, i got tired of feeling like i was never doing good enough and just stopped caring about what people thought about my failures.

After that day, I realized that I was only getting anxious because I was afraid of what people would think of me when I failed. I eventually got into the habit of reminding myself that I want to get good grades and play a good game for myself and nobody else, so everyone else’s opinion was irrelevant. Shortly after that realization, I started my junior year soccer season and noticed a drastic difference in my performance. I would no longer shake and throw up before games, and I was excited to go to school on a game day instead of wanting to crawl into a hole. I still get anxiety in school and in the sports that I play, but it isn’t as severe now and my life feels so much more care-free. Since I know first-hand how having anxiety in highschool can greatly affect a person’s mental health, I want to become a psychologist. I plan on becoming a psychologist so I can figure out exactly why and how teenagers get anxiety and help them cope with and overcome their anxiety and fears.

During highschool many teenagers depend on their families as a support system while they face drama and anxiety, but for teens who come from ‘broken homes’, family is more of a burden than a relief. I was raised in a very unstructured household myself, so my family was just a source of criticism and stress. i didn’t feel comfortable at all with telling them about the feeling of dread that i felt every morning when i woke up. I faced all of my issues alone, without my family even being aware that I had them. When i came home and slept all day they assumed i was just being lazy, when i cried late at night they’d just yell at me for staying up, and when my grades started dropping they punished me and assumed it was just because i “wasn’t grateful for receiving an education”. When i started failing classes during my sophomore year in highschool, my family did the worst thing they could’ve done; they isolated me in a toxic household. I wasn’t allowed to leave my house unless it was for school and while i was home i was constantly being yelled at for being ungrateful and lazy.

After years of tears, fights, and even a few attempts of running away, my family eventually heard my silent cries of help. They began noticing my weight loss, my excessive sleeping and my uncaring attitude that I had towards everything and found me a therapist. After the therapist diagnosed me with depression my family’s whole attitude towards me changed, but it still took months of family therapy for me to start opening up to them. My family is still unempathetic and nowhere near being perfect, but they understand when i’m feeling depressed now and no longer assume i’m just `being lazy”. Communicating with my family and getting diagnosed and treated for depression made the hard days a little easier,but I know a lot of teenagers don’t understand their emotions and don’t open up with their families. I want to become a psychologist so I have the knowledge and power to help teenagers reach out to their families and get help. Family issues are often one of the most common causes of a teenager’s stress, and since I have witnessed and experienced things such as abuse, neglect and the trauma that family issues cause, I desperately want to help teenagers and their families form bonds and find solutions to their troubling situations.

The struggles that I faced in highschool, do not define me as a person, but they have taught me lessons that helped me grow to be very empathetic and compassionate. Coping with and overcoming my struggles made me realize that I am passionate about helping other people overcome their own. If it weren’t for the drama, the anxiety and my family issues that i faced throughout highschool, I wouldn’t have become inspired to help teenagers with their own issues. Everybody has been through unfortunate struggles in their lives, but not everybody can make it past those struggles. In the united states, suicide is the third most common cause of death for teenagers, and everyday there is a teenager out there making plans to commit suicide. I concidered suicide as a teenager myself on many occasions and I am so glad I persevered, but not all teenagers can. I want to become a psychologist so i can guide teenagers away from considering suicide as an option, and help them cope with their issues. I want to make a career out of helping save the mental health of as many people as I can. Having a strong support system and someone to help them cope with their issues can make the biggest difference in a teenager’s life, and I’m hopeful that becoming a psychologist would give me the opportunity to provide someone with that comfort.

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My School Struggle and Future Career. (2021, Sep 21). Retrieved from

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