How to Deal with Anxiety at School


Kate Wallace

Many people think anxiety is just an excuse for people to be unsocial, but it can be serious.

When you hear the word anxiety, what do you think of? Many people think anxiety is just an excuse for people to be unsocial, but it can be serious. I am a student with severe anxiety, therefore school makes it worse. For a person with anxiety, school can be a very tough challenge. Even if you got the smarts, anxiety can get in the way of showing them.

I am here to help my fellow anxiety-filled people, or even just unsocial people, get through school better than ever before. I will share with you some tips that I came up with to help myself, and other students who suffer from anxiety as well.

Asking or Answering Questions

One of my problems is asking questions, and I know a lot of people deal with this problem. I will only ask a question if I really need to do so. Why I do this, I don’t know. The thing with anxiety is that you usually don’t know why you worry or fear. I don’t know why I fear asking questions. I know that nobody will judge me; however, with anxiety there is always a little voice for everything you are worried about that says these three words, “But what if…”, and that is what makes people not do these simple things.     

One way most people will say to deal with anxiety is, “Nobody will judge you! You’ll be fine! Quit worrying!”. Yet anything they say is destroyed by that little voice inside your head. You would think telling someone not to worry would help, but it actually makes it worse. Nobody but you can fully get rid of your anxiety. Therapy can help, but it is all up to you to make the little voice completely disappear.

What to actually do to help yourself is just simply not to look at anybody. If you raise your hand, answer a question, or read a paragraph out loud, just don’t look at anybody. The voice inside your head says that they are looking at you and judging you. However, by not looking at them you cannot tell for sure if they are. When the teacher acknowledges your hand, look at the teacher, but nobody else. This tip really helps me out.

Sharpening your Pencil or Blowing your Nose

If you don’t have anxiety, you are probably thinking, did I read this right? Well, yes, you did. Doing simple little things that need you to get up and do something in front of other people are very hard and require much courage. We know how to do these things, but going up in front of other people, such as your classmates, is hard to do. I will occasionally sit in my seat with a dull pencil tip and a runny nose, but that’s just how it is. I can’t, and I won’t. The voice in my head says that they will judge me for how long I take to sharpen my pencil or blow my nose, or how loud my nose blow is. This problem is probably the worst one that I have to deal with.  

I don’t really have much of a solution, but I have something. Remember that saying not to worry does not help. When I get up, I will again pretend nobody is there, and then I just hurry up and get it done. Like I said, I don’t have much of a solution for this specific problem, but it helps a slim bit more.


This topic kind of fits into the category of asking questions. Going to the bathroom at home is pretty easy, but it’s public bathrooms that are hard. I try to avoid public restrooms as much as possible, but when I really need to go is when I do.

My teachers will usually give me a hall pass, and I will go on my way, but when I get to the bathroom—that’s the problem. It does not bother me at all to go when nobody is there, but when I see someone at the sink or hear them in the stall, that is when anxiety pays a visit. I will try to shield my face and hurry into the stall, but when I get there and sit down to relieve myself, that little voice goes, you’re being too loud in there and they hear you. You’re taking too long and your classmates notice. They’re laughing at you. Even if I’m not, that just destroys me.

My solution to this problem does not really help me, but it might help you. Instead of telling yourself not to worry, just say to yourself that everybody does it. We all do. We are all human, and everyone has gone to the bathroom. If you are being too loud or taking too long, they aren’t judging you. They are saying to themselves that they’ve been there too, and you’re not alone. If they are judging you, you will never know for sure. Also, if they do, they are just messing with you, so don’t listen to them.

Public Speaking

This section isn’t just for people with anxiety, but for just about everyone. Public speaking, according to The Washington Post, is the number one fear of most Americans. Public speaking can be tough for anyone, but for people with anxiety it can be worse.

Anxiety can trigger an anxiety attack, which is like a panic attack, but a tiny bit better. Anxiety attacks can occur when you are worried about something. Imagine this: You are about to give a presentation for your class, but worry about if they will like it, if you will talk too fast or slow, or plainly that something will go wrong. Next your heart starts pounding, you sweat, tremble, go numb, get a chilly or hot sensation over your body. The next thing you know you have a shortness of breath, and your chest is tightening up. You feel nauseous and feel like you are about to faint. That is what an anxiety attack is, and I have had many.

Anxiety attacks are actually normal for a person with severe anxiety, and usually occur on a daily basis. My tip here has probably been said before, but I’ll say it anyway. When you are giving your presentation, again pretend nobody is there, but this time also just remember that everyone in your class has had to give a presentation once in their lives, and they probably messed something up. They know what it feels like to be under all of that pressure, and if they don’t, just imagine they do. If they laugh at you or something you did, don’t listen to them. There are many more people out there who have felt the same pressure as you do now. Like I said earlier, you are never positive if they are judging you, so just imagine the most positive outcome.

This concludes my tips for anxiety filled students. I am definitely not an expert, but I have been through all of this. Usually every single day. I am not sure if any of these will actually help anyone, but all I need to do to make me feel better is to imagine people do. I may not have covered all the situations anxiety people deal with, but I think I have covered the major ones.