Angie Zhao

For those of you who don’t know me, I am Angie, a person who has constantly struggled with anxiety throughout my entire life. I was constantly regretting my past decisions and worrying about my future.

Last year was the first time that I found myself heavily affected by anxiety. For some reason, I felt so brave that I signed up for ap lit. Teachers did not want to give it to me at first, but I convinced them by expressing how much I love reading. I mean, it is true! I like reading. However, I did not imagine that I would struggle as much as I did. It was easy at the beginning, but as I read the story and got more familiar with the main characters, I began to have trouble to write up all the journals. I felt that I had so much that I wanted to write about, but I did not know where to start.

Whenever I thought how much work I had to do and how long the journal would be if I wrote every single word I wanted to express, I felt scared to start. Creating a new document and staring at it until midnight became a routine in my daily life. During the time I procrastinated by trying everything to calm myself down and escape reality. Whenever I tried to start my homework, I would find my room was untidy, I was hungry, or I wanted to work out. Sometimes I would just watch youtube videos with my friend, whose name was guilt. You could imagine what resulted from my procrastination. I clearly didn’t finish my homework before the sun rose again. This caused me to be afraid of going to school with nothing to turn in for any of my classes.

This was only the start of my struggle. In the middle of my junior year, for some reason I could not put my fingers on the keyboard and start typing, I would not allow myself to sleep, even when I was tired enough to sleep with my eyes open. After two weeks with not even one hour sleep a day, I got so sick that I was physically unable to go to school. I regretted my decision to challenge myself with hard courses, and sometimes even regretted coming to America. I blamed people around me for not being supportive enough. I resented my parents for not understanding the tough situations that I was going through. They did not understand the reason I could not get stuff done on time and why I could not be as good as other people. I was worried that my performance during my junior year would affect my college applications in the future. I cried day and night because I could not reach the high expectations set by others and myself.

The sequence was constantly repeating until the day I was notified that I was restricted from selecting courses for the next year. My worst fears became real. The voice of Mr. Walkins, which said that I would not be able to do more than 2 AP’s was the sound that woke me up from my black hole of worries. I finally realized that I should not use the time to worry about the time I

wasted and the penalty that I would get for absences and late homework. The worries were useless. They could only upset me even more.

I started to focus what I had and what I could get. I tried to finish what I had to the best of my ability. I started to set up mini goals and rewards to encourage me to get work done on time, check in regularly with Ms. PD, begin accepting who I am, and stop comparing myself with other people. Honestly, I’m struggling with anxiety and procrastination even now, but I now have a happier life and more positive mindset. Although I am a senior at high school now, I still feel like it is neither too early nor too late to make the changes. Life is long, and as young adults, we still have the chance to make mistakes and wrong decisions and learn from them. Just live as best you can, be present, and stay focused.