THE ANXIETY OF MISSING OUT

 

March 24, 2021

By: Anneke Goodwin, Grade 9

I’m going to be completely honest with all of you. A year ago at the beginning of this pandemic, my inner introverted side was absolutely thriving! I was loving being at home, reading all day, spending time with my family, and online school wasn’t terrible! And most of that still rings true today! Most of it. 

 

Because of everything that's been going on this past year, all of the canceled trips, all of the sleepovers missed, all of the holidays not spent with family, all of the high school experiences we're missing out on, me and my friends dwell quite often on the concept of missing out on life. It seems like everything on our Pinterests and For You pages nowadays is about how life just passes you by so you should live while you're young, and how you only live once so be bold! These messages and reminders are of course only meant to be inspiring and motivational, but instead they feel like a bombardment of anxiety and pressure, and I’m left wondering if I’m the only one who feels this way.

 

The hour-long conversations with my friends about living while we're young have all made me very conscious of the amount of time I waste in life, which of course is a good thing because it motivates me to be productive, but it also creates this constant anxiety and nagging in my brain. Is what I'm doing a waste of time? I'm over halfway through Grade 9 and it feels like I just started! Maybe I haven't put myself out there enough which must mean I'm missing out on life and experiences and yady yady yada! I could go on forever. The point is that the anxiety of missing out on life only creates more anxiety, and our worlds ever changing state only adds onto that. Will we be in lockdown or will we not? What does “red zone” even mean if the stores aren’t closed down????

 

The thought of everything I'm not getting in high school makes me want to cry. I may never have a high school dance, sports game, or in-person anything and just the thought of it’s painful! We are literally only going to school with half of Nepean every single day! I make this joke far too often but what if my soulmate is in the other cohort??? It's so challenging to make new friends with a mask on, and I think as we all found in the winter, even harder over a screen. I can sometimes feel so hopeless thinking to myself that I might never go to a high school party, and what if I never have a prom like the poor Grade 12s this year? And it sucks. It all absolutely sucks. And the way things are going, it looks like next school year will be the exact same. (This is of course no one's fault, we are all trying our hardest to keep everyone safe, these circumstances are just rough!)

 

Lots of people say that what I just ranted about is pessimistic and not within a  positive mindset, however in these times we can’t all always have that positive mindset; we can’t all be super great or a ten out of ten, and expecting that from people nowadays in unrealistic, and makes people feel like they aren't trying hard enough when they’re doing their best. In case you needed this reminder today, you don't need to be perfect to be trying your best! You are making an effort and that's all that matters.

 

I WISH EVERYONE COULD BE EXPRESSIVE AND VULNERABLE 

 

December 16, 2020

By Anonymous 

Sometimes, I worry about people. I feel like in our society, we compare ourselves to one another too much. I can’t compare myself with someone with totally different experiences, dreams, skills. How could I? Yet, I find myself wondering why I’m so overly sensitive, so weird, so insecure and so out of the ordinary. I wonder how I’ll cope in University, with my strange personality, my ignorance, and my inexperience. But I’m lucky because I have such open and loving friends and family who let me express myself, my feelings, and all my insecurities. I can’t ever imagine being in an environment where I can’t be myself- that would be an unimaginable burden. And as it is, I already find it so hard to be imperfect and weird in a world that values perfection and normallicy above all else.

 

Anyway, I worry about other people. At least I’m in touch with my emotions and have a group of people that accepts me as I am. There are so many people I know who either repress themselves and their feelings, or others from free expression and emotion. Especially boys. I see guys insult each other all the time, even their friends. I guess if you can’t express your insecurities, you take it out on others by pointing out theirs. I read an article once with statistics showing that men live shorter lives than women due to emotional repression. What a hard life it would be to suffer alone, without anyone there to understand your struggles- simply because of a lack of vulnerability.

 

I really hope that we can move past this toxic society, and toxic masculinity. I think that everyone would be much happier if they were able to express themselves, their emotions, and their insecurities openly more often, instead of becoming bitter from hiding them away for so long. I think that this would also make it a more open space for people like me, who are openly unusual and very expressive.

 

But that’s just me. Hope you enjoyed my rant. I certainly did, since I generally talk to myself when I’m upset, which concerns me, but writing it down actually makes me feel better and more sain. So thank you.

 

WHAT REALLY MOTIVATES US?

November 18, 2020

By Madeleine Bhamjee, Grade 12

 

In a chaotic time like this, I often question my purpose and what I am really working to achieve over the course of my life. As I sit on a pillow in my room, now a makeshift classroom for school, I reflect on this. Why am I writing this article? Do I really enjoy writing or am I writing this simply because I want to impress my parents? Or am I writing this because I’d like to impress the right person and get into my preferred university? Hmmmm. What am I doing here? Why do I want to go to university? Because of societal norms? To meet the unspoken expectations of my parents, peers, teachers? Why, why, why? What comes after university? An overpriced apartment, perhaps a pet of some kind to keep me company, rent, bills, a nine to five job? How will I find happiness in the scenario that I have little to no money? Whoever said money can’t buy happiness is deluded, the ongoing quest for money may not be a happy one but money gives us a sense of security and gives us choice, it can buy us fine clothes, nice homes and make us beautiful which in turn can make us popular and grant us friendships, maybe even love. Wouldn’t that bring us some happiness and satisfaction? I love to think of what my future could look like but when it all comes down to it, it is marred by uncertainty and doubt. I long for some closure and to have the gift of foresight, to look into my future and know that everything I’ve worked for will have some meaning in my future and will guarantee me happiness and love. But I don’t possess the all seeing eye nor is the universe merciful enough to grant me sweet relief. I must wait… And wait… And wait… 

 

I am still waiting.

HOW THIS SCHOOL YEAR HAS ME FEELING...

 

October 15, 2020

By Madeleine Bhamjee, Grade 12

When I first heard about what our school year may look like, including the hybrid model, I was honestly, quite sad but not the least bit surprised. Over the course of the summer when COVID cases had dwindled, I had hoped that my school year would be completely normal, perhaps with some adjustments, but nevertheless what I was used to. However when it was announced in late August that the school year would be part online, part in class with cohorts my heart sunk. 

              I really do understand that I come from a very privileged place. I am fortunate to have a supportive, caring family that is able to adjust to these changes, access to technology and a support network but I can’t say that things have been how I’d have liked them… I am aware that it has been incredibly difficult for teachers and administrators to create this learning model and carry it out but so far I have found it arduous. As someone who struggles to focus and process information, sitting in class for even a short period of time has never been a walk in the park but sitting in a class for four hours is pretty hellish. At the end of the day, my head hurts after endless volleys of notes and lectures have been hurled at me. 

             This new school year has freed up more time in my schedule, as I attend school on and off and am productive enough that I finish my work quickly. I feel as though I am left with too much time on my hands. I thrive when I am busy, it keeps me productive and makes me feel accomplished even at my low points. Over the summer, I was lucky enough to find a job and work all summer and it felt wonderful to have a sense of purpose and belonging but now that school has begun and my days feel empty, I feel like a part of me is missing. 

             Maybe this is why I am writing this “rant”, because I desire to feel productive again and wish to vent my frustrations. 

 
 
 
 

KNIGHTWATCH 2020/2021