Friends, mental health, and senior year

I’m a senior at Mead High School this year, and frankly, I feel like I’ve hit an all-time low because I have managed to socially isolate myself from all of my friends. It’s my own fault; in no way do I blame any of my friends for not having reached out to me to check up on me anymore since each time that happens, I push them away on my own. I’ve struggled with mental illness for most of my life, and as a result of this, I have missed months (or years) of their lives that I have always dreamed of experiencing with others. It’s very uncomfortable to need to see their faces every now and then and engage in a half-hearted conversation that probably means nothing to them. Would it be better to just start branching out?


Arizona Lee

High school poses challenges that include friends, mental health, and school work in general.

This is such a heavy topic for me to address. Friends are so important. They stabilize and improve your life. But every friendship is different. Just because you aren’t as involved with your friends as you’d like to be doesn’t mean it’s something that can’t be mended. It could only take a simple text or in-person conversation to rekindle a friendship. It is never too late to try because even though your time at the school is limited, you still have the rest of your lives to be friends.

For some, a friend and an acquaintance may be seen as similar or the same. For others, friendships are extremely active. Either way, if there is a chance to fix something that has been tampered with, I say you go for it. 

The first step to developing your friendships is to recognize your own thoughts on the few you are currently struggling with. All friendships should be approached differently, but all are completely equally important.

On the other hand, branching out is extremely healthy. It broadens your circle and brings you new opportunities you would have never had otherwise. Make sure that whatever you do, you are pushing yourself to add new people to your circle of comfort and friendship.

To truly answer your question, I think that’s it’s best to first try to mend the connection between you and your friends. If you’re not comfortable with that or it doesn’t go nearly as smoothly as you hoped, perhaps it’s best to branch out and find others that you can spend the rest of this semester with. 

As for your trials with mental health, I highly suggest you address any issues you’ve been going through. Mr. Pedro Linsenmeyer, a counselor at the school, supports all students with personal/social needs on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays and provides this support at no cost. Dealing with these problems instead of ignoring them will help you clear your mind to make sound decisions in regards to friendships. 

I also want to note that it is perfectly acceptable to grow apart from certain people, especially when you’re all dealing with different trials and in different chapters of your life. It happens, and it’s normal. When this happens, it is good to branch out and try to find more friends. Every person is a new opportunity for friendship. But don’t try to force it. If you don’t click, then it’s not meant to be, and that’s okay. 

However, if you feel that you need to rekindle your current or past friendships and there’s something you need to work on before talking with your group, it would probably be best to work on them and talk to the group. Make sure everyone is personally in a good place and a stable mental state before making any choices that could alter who is involved with specific friendships.

Talking to your friends is key. Make sure that they know exactly what you’re going through and how you feel about the growing distance between individual people. Listening to them and having them listen to you will solve a lot more than you think. 

This last semester matters. Your ability to be comfortable and happy at school matters. So do whatever you feel is healthiest for you. A good place to start is with yourself.