The recent Senate hearings that led to the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh were both riveting and painful for many viewers. It’s difficult to recall another time when sexual assault and its effects played such a prominent role in our national conversation.
The term “triggered” has gotten a mixed reputation in recent years as it has come to be associated with the efforts of many colleges and universities to protect students from upsetting content or ideas. This new meaning of the term started with the best of intentions. Professors covering material that could be upsetting for those with a history of trauma began to warn students beforehand; hence the term “trigger warning.” Gradually, the term’s use broadened as college communities increasingly used it to warn students about the use of anything that might conceivably be upsetting. (This was unfortunate, as ultimately it is impossible to protect all students from ever being upset by the material, perspectives, or ideas presented in class.) However, triggers are a serious [Read more…]
Alyssa’s panic attack
Alyssa is a high school senior and member of her school’s cheerleading team. She has never had a panic attack. When lifted into the air by her teammates during practice one day, she suddenly feels very dizzy [Read more…]
Ashley’s test anxiety
Ashley is a junior in high school and had planned to take the SAT exam in February with the rest of her friends. However, as February loomed closer, Ashley could not bring herself to talk about or think about the exam. She skipped study sessions with her friends and she even missed a weekend SAT course that her mom signed her up for. As the weeks went by, [Read more…]
Homecoming, senior prom, graduation – these are the common high school milestones that teens look forward to and remember fondly for years to come. However, not all highlights from high school are marked with such excitement and positive emotions. The SATs, ACTs, AP exams, and other high stakes tests are a rite of passage for most students, but are often marked with nerves, distress, and trepidation. Although few students enjoy these crucial exams, for some, the nervousness [Read more…]