By: Zuha Jaffar

As the school year crept up, I was feeling overwhelmed with panic. This was not what I was supposed to be feeling. I needed to be excited for what was yet to come. Instead, my stomach tightened and I was consumed with worry. I thought, maybe (and hopefully), that it was just because I wasn’t ready to be drowned in work all the time (or to be stuck in that overwhelming feeling of guilt for not doing work when I know I should be). But I knew that wasn’t the reason I was actually scared. During freshman year, I thought sophomore year would be easier and that everything would require less effort because I would be so much more accustomed to school. I became a lot more familiar with HB (I was by second semester of freshman year, to be completely honest), but things ended up being a lot more challenging than I thought they would be.

Like I mentioned, it wasn’t necessarily my fear of harder classes or more work that was making my stomach churn, it was more my fear of being stuck in a feeling of constant worry. I don’t often get this feeling, but sometimes school submerges me into a place of extreme stress. It’s not a feeling that I (or anyone) particularly desires. I wasn’t ready to face that. I wanted to bask in the carefree bliss that is summer. Who doesn’t? What further disturbed me, was that I didn’t want to feel this way. I should’ve been more enthusiastic about this year, since I had ended last year really well. I shouldn’t have been as nervous as last year. In just having these fears, I wasn’t living up to my hopes, which was a whole other problem in itself. I didn’t have any way to deal with these problems, so I did my summer work.

It has been two months of school now, and I’m slowly falling back into the cycle that everyone is in during school. Of course, I’m still adjusting to the rigors of taking harder classes, while also trying out more extracurriculars, but now, looking back on the moments before school started, those inklings of unease seemed to be for nothing. I still get stressed out, and I’m definitely not as relaxed as I was over the summer. But, all of my previous fears, I’ve realized, are just a part of going to school, and they are never going to go away unless I try to do my best to make sure they don’t happen. And even though, these are things that will probably always bother me or creep up to me before school starts, I know that if I attempt to get rid of them, they’ll eventually fade away.