Understanding Personal Challenges


by United Nations Covid Response: https://unsplash.com/photos/Z_UALBboBHE

Rebecca Maritano and Bella Williams

Everyone has their own personal struggles, and this year quarantine has made it much more stressful for people. 

There are about 56 million kids that are in the United States schooling system, of those 56 million about 45.8% of kids parents are still married. That means 54% of students have parents that have split since they were born, and that’s just one of the things students could be juggling at home. Just at our school alone we have over 1,800 kids, how many of those kids could be struggling in silence? We sent out a survey to the kids at Mountainside to collect data on their journey with personal struggles.

Almost half of the students that responded to our survey said that they feel like their challenges aren’t seen or understood by people around them. A lot of the times people keep what they’re struggling with to themselves because it’s easier to

Survey results from MHS students about their personal challenges

hide our problems than explain them. In today’s society a lot of struggles are expected to be ‘swept under the rug’ to look perfect, which means problems and struggles aren’t seen or given the help they need. “I’m known as the ‘strong one’ in my family and around my friends, so people never check up on me because they expect me to be able to stand on my own when I need support.” said a Mountainside student who wishes to remain anonymous. People can easily be put into stereotypes in family and in friendships and it’s hard to break out of that. It’s important to make sure your friends feelings are heard even if you think they are strong enough to handle themselves.

Personal challenges come in many forms and struggles are different for each person. In this survey we heard about our communities struggles and those included, bullying, depression, anxiety, self-image, ADHD and many others. In an interview with another mountainside student, they said “I was severely bullied in elementary school which left me with life long problems that I still deal with now, such as depression and anxiety that has now led me to have very low self- confidence.” Even small words that seem like they would have no impact on someone, can stick and create an impact that lasts forever. 

At the end of the day, there could be countless emotions and struggles that lie behind someone’s smile and we all have our own struggles at school. You never know what someone could be going through, it’s easier to support each other than to tear each other down, and it’s easy to do by keeping mean comments to yourself, and checking up on your friends once and while. The world is already evolving and hard to place to exist in, be kind to one another.