My Shadows


We decided to create a fictional story of a freshman’s social anxiety, and his own thoughts and feelings when dealing with his anxiety. Anxiety is something us three guys have experienced even though it doesn’t have a whole lot of meaning to us. My cousin unfortunately has it and she said, “It’s not something that goes away, but you just have to learn to live with it. You have to find ways to put that into something else basically trying to find a different way to express it.” This made us passionate to tell the story about anxiety. A retelling of my cousin and her struggles.

“Social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, is an anxiety disorder in which a person has an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations. Anxiety(intense nervousness) and self-consciousness arise from a fear of being closely watched, judged, and criticized by others.” (Social Anxiety)

My name is Ian Gordon and I am an incoming sophomore this school year.

       Looking back on Freshman year, if I could shorten it into one word, anxiety. Being picked on, the stressed feelings, being friendless, excessive homework, constant projects, waking up too early, being lost, and dealing with a new problem each day.

Even on the first day I was stressed.

My thoughts were running miles through my head. Has there been a situation where it made you think like Ian did at the time? What would people think of me? What if my teachers don’t like me? Will I fit in? I can’t begin to imagine what the rest of the year will be like if I’m already so stressed about what might happen on the first day.That night, I was already running through situations that might occur the next day, and how I’m going deal with them. I woke up… I already had my best outfit planned out so I could look somewhat presentable. I’m in zombie mode, but I’m ready.

I get off the bus and realize I had already forgotten something, my schedule, so I’m already lost. I made it to first period, but second period wasn’t so promising. I was forced to go to the office, I had to call up my parents on the first day of high school… I’m already late to my first class, and I can just tell this teacher will hold a grudge on me for the rest of the year.  The first day of school was worse than I thought it was going to be. All my teachers hate me. The night after the first day, I worried, I feared, and went over the worst scenarios again.  This was just the start of terrible and anxious year.

Miraculously, the year gradually became better. I became more responsible for my actions and became more comfortable in social situations. I became less depressed and afraid, and in return became more social. I stopped my procrastination and I studied more. I felt like people were no longer judging me and was relieved. The year started out dreadful but turned out for the best. I realized I could make a change in my life by embracing the discomfort. By overcoming my anxiety was able to meet new people, friends without being nervous or uncomfortable, and became a more like able person.


Ian Gordon is an incoming freshmen with anxiety about school and friends, the year starts out as a disaster and his anxiety overwhelms him. Things at school don’t start off to right. Every night he worries about what could happen the next day. As time progresses throughout the year things got better. Ian becomes more comfortable around people. School becomes less stressful as he overcomes his anxiety, and making friends becomes easier. He soon realizes something important about his journey through freshman year. If you had a situation like this how did it relate to yours?

Research and Sources

“The worst era of my anxiety disorder was the time before I knew I had it. I knew something was wrong, but not what.”(Resource)

“Students with social phobia may:

  • feel self-conscious and uncomfortable in social situations
  • avoid school or participating in class
  • feel embarrassed, lonely, disappointed, or withdrawn
  • experience physical symptoms such as sweating, shaking, stomach pains, nausea, and a racing heart beat
  • take medication to help ease their anxiety
  • require intervention with a school counselor or therapist to help them handle social situations
  • be targeted by bullies”

“The most common anxiety disorders affecting kids and teens are:

  • Generalized anxiety. With this common anxiety disorder, children worry excessively about many things, such as school, the health or safety of family members, or the future in general. These students also may have physical symptoms, such as headaches, stomach-ache, muscle tension, or tiredness. Their worries might cause them to miss school or avoid social activities.
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Children with OCD have excessive reoccupying thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive actions done to try to relieve their anxiety (compulsions).
  • Phobias. These are unrealistic and excessive fears, such as a fear of dogs or enclosed spaces. Phobias usually cause people to avoid the things they fear.
  • Social phobia (social anxiety). This anxiety is triggered by social situations or speaking in front of others. A less common form, called selective mutism, causes some students to be too fearful to talk at all in certain situations.
  • Panic attacks. These can occur for no apparent reason. With a panic attack, a person has sudden and intense physical symptoms that can include a pounding heart, shortness of breath, or dizziness caused by the body’s normal fear response.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This results from a past traumatic experience.”
  • “Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18% of the population.”

Knowing that there is not an end to this can help you manage and find ways to get relieve this stress and shadows that hang down on you. You just have to find other ways to express it.


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