How One High School Student Has Taken Control of Her Education While Living With Depression

« Back  |  


Jane*, a 16-year-old sophomore, is like any other teenager. She enjoys spending time with family and friends and unwinding with hobbies such as performing and drawing. And, like any other teenager, she deals with obstacles that sometimes hinder her happiness, including her mental health.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 children aged 13-18 have, or will have, a serious mental illness. Jane has been living with depression since she was 13.

“Many people struggle with depression, and I know most teens have the same struggle as I do,” Jane said. “I was in seventh grade and life just began piling up. I had always struggled with sensory processing issues, but then it started to really take a toll on me. It felt worse at school because of loud students, crowded classrooms, and the general discontent I could feel around me.”

“Many people struggle with depression, and I know most teens have the same struggle as I do.”

After discovering that being at school was a trigger, Jane and her family sought out help during her freshman year. She was determined to stay in school despite the heavy workload and lack of personalized assistance because she was worried about losing her friends and the community she had found in her drama club. But when she began to face even bigger challenges, she decided it was time to look for educational alternatives.

“The tipping point for me was the bullying,” Jane said. “I had always been bullied, but it got worse when rumors began to spread.”

Jane and her family began searching for other options, finally deciding to enroll full-time at ASU Prep Digital. This allowed her to work at her own pace, from home, on her own schedule.

“I already had one friend enrolled in ASU Prep Digital and she was enjoying it, so I decided to join too,” Jane said.

After making the switch to online school, Jane noticed a significant shift in her day-to-day life, including her mental health.

“I’ve gotten to spend a lot more time with my friends, separate from the drama club, dedicate more time to making art, and give myself time to just mentally unwind,” Jane said. “My mental health issues are a bit on and off, but since starting online school I’ve noticed I’ve been having less problems with my anxiety and depression than I did before and it’s been such a major relief.”

Not to mention, she’s enjoying school a lot more now, too.

“In my previous school, the teachers didn’t make an effort to care about me or my learning. All they cared about was if I was passing or not,” Jane said. “But here, I feel like my teachers genuinely care about me and they’re always reaching out to me, which I enjoy.”

For Jane, the extra care and personalized learning has allowed her to flourish. And having the time to dedicate to hobbies that help keep her grounded has been a welcome benefit.

“I do a lot of theatre in my spare time, and I love to draw,” she said. “Art is probably my biggest hobby, and I’ve even considered selling it!”


While Jane continues to find ways to keep her mind and body healthy, she asks for one thing that many teens who have experienced anxiety or depression need: patience.

“It can be difficult to express how it [depression] feels to adults, so I just ask them to be patient with me,” she said. “Taking time to understand what I’m going through when I’m feeling badly is some of the biggest help I can get.”

If you are living with a mental illness, you are not alone and your story matters. Find a list of helpful resources here. If you’re curious about whether or not online school may benefit you, we invite you to schedule a call with an admissions advisor or browse our FAQs to determine if ASU Prep Digital would be a good fit for you.

*The student’s name has been changed for this story.


How Can Online High School Benefit Students Who Suffer From Anxiety?

« Back  |  

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 25.1% of children between the ages of 13 and 18 are affected by anxiety disorders. Even more alarming, 50% of all cases of mental illness, including anxiety, begin by age 14—right when teenagers are entering and navigating their high school years.

Things such as making friends and staying on top of coursework can be more difficult for students who suffer from anxiety, which can lead to isolation and falling behind in classes. While it may not solve every problem, online high school is a viable option for students who are looking for a different environment that will enable them to excel academically and socially. Let’s explore the different facets of online high school that can benefit students who suffer from anxiety.

Working from anywhere.

We all have days where getting out of bed feels like the most exhausting task we’ll undertake. However, for a high school student suffering from anxiety, this can easily be an everyday occurrence. If a student is feeling anxious during their entire school day, it makes it difficult for them to be present and productive in their classes. Online high school gives students the flexibility of learning wherever they want and the ability to create a schedule that fits their needs. If they feel safe and secure, they will be able to concentrate better and get more done.

Learning at their own pace.

One setback of the brick-and-mortar style of education is that every student is taught at the same pace when in reality, not every student learns the same way or at the same rate. For students who suffer from anxiety, falling behind in their studies can feel overwhelming and deter his or her success. One of the major benefits of online high school is that students are able to work at their own pace, which means they can work ahead or spend a little extra time on a subject they’re stuck on. At ASU Prep Digital, we are committed to providing a personalized learning experience for all of our students. This means giving students the power to create their own schedule and providing assistance and guidance along the way to ensure success.

Additional layers of support.

It’s easy to feel invisible when you’re attending a traditional high school if you’re not connecting with your teachers or peers. For students who suffer from anxiety, this feeling is magnified. At ASU Prep Digital, we understand the importance of providing an abundance of support so that students are able to succeed in and out of the classroom. This is why we provide each student with a Learning Success Coach, in addition to providing ample opportunities for students to connect with their teachers and peers. The success coaches help their students craft schedules that align with their interests and academic goals. They also meet with them on a weekly basis to check on their progress, making each student they interact with feel supported and heard. Between teachers, success coaches, peers, and their parents, students will never feel like they’re handling everything on their own.

While switching to online high school may not solve every problem, it offers an alternative learning environment that allows students to learn on their own time, at their own pace, and surrounded by people who are invested in their success. If your child is experiencing difficulty in their current schooling, schedule a call with one of our advisors or begin the enrollment process today.