Updated: Mar 18
Back-to-school season has come and gone, and it reminded me of my own nerves and anxiety at the start of each school year.
I used to dread going back to school. Like the title character in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, I used to fake being sick just so I wouldn’t have to go. My mom would try to help by telling me that every new year was a chance to reinvent myself and make new friends.
This advice helped me a bit: after all, every time I started a new grade, I was moving forward. Progressing each year is a big accomplishment. It’s something to be proud of.
I also realized over the years not to be afraid to ask for help. The nerves and anxiety that come with starting something new can be very intense, and sometimes they make it hard to ask for help.
The pressure to fit in is intense, too. Sometimes, we want to fit in so badly that we don’t raise our hand because we don’t want people to think there is something wrong with us. Especially if we have a learning difference.
Let me tell you: there is nothing wrong with asking for help. Even the President of the United States has advisors. All of our greatest leaders need help.
In ninth grade, I was failing my algebra class. My teacher called home one day. He told my mom, “There are some people that get it and some that don’t. Quinn is just one of the people who don’t.”
Well, I soon started asking more questions, stayed up late studying, and took all the help I could get. I was determined to get the help I needed and put in the work to pass my class.
Fast-forward to the end of the year when the most unexpected thing happened: I won a math award! I felt nervous about asking for help, but I did it anyway. And I became more successful then I ever thought I could be.
So, you’re back in school, but the school year is still young. You still have the chance to surprise yourself with success—don’t be afraid to ask for the support you need to get there. - Quinn