School Senior Coping Mechanisms

Published: November 05, 2022
Dear TeenHealth FX,

Hello. I am a 17 year old high school senior who is in a panic right now. I am set to graduate in 7 months, and immediately after that I am to start university with summer classes. What scares me is that in a little less than 7 months, I will be moving across the country by myself and basically be thrown into a very different environment than what I am used to. My family won't be there, my friends won't be there, my pets won't be there. The state I am moving to is supposedly very different from mine. Even though I know I have 7 months to prepare, I don't know if I am mentally ready for such a drastic change. Just thinking about it makes me cry because I am so scared. My parents worked hard to set everything up for me, and I was excited at the time to be going to that specific university, but now I am scared. Even though I know I have no choice and can't go back on it now, I don't want to go through with this. Do you have any advice on how I can prepare myself emotionally for this?

Signed: School Senior

Dear School Senior,

TeenHealth FX understands how you are feeling. Change can be scary, but change doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It is normal to feel scared, and nervous when we take a step towards new experiences. According to, sometimes when we feel scary or new feelings our body will respond to them by what is called the Fight-or-Flight response. This can feel like our heart is pounding fast, our breathing gets harder, feeling sick to our stomach or pain in our head, chest, legs, or hands. shares five ways to handle scary feelings, like using positive thoughts, slowing down our breathing and talking yourself through it.

Finding ways to cope with our feelings in a healthy way is important. Some other ways to cope with negative feelings are walking, painting, writing a list of the positive things that happened or are happening throughout the day, listening to music can be helpful during stressful times.

Another great way to cope with negative feelings is reaching out to friends, family, a trusted adult, or doctor when we are feeling overwhelmed in our lives. If you are having trouble finding a doctor that you can speak to about how you are feeling and you live in northern New Jersey you can click on this link: Pediatric Behavioral Medicine - Atlantic Health or call (973) 971- 6305.

Signed: TeenHealth FX