Being a teenager is never easy. The journey to adulthood is challenging at the best of times, but when the pressure of trying to navigate the natural process of growing up is added to the demands of achieving academic success, it can create many difficult challenges. In some cases, the demands of trying to meet the expectations of parents and teachers while trying to fit into social peer groups can lead to shyness and social anxiety. Social anxiety is the fear of social situations and the interaction with other people that can automatically bring on feelings of self-consciousness, judgment, evaluation, and inferiority.
Stress of Success
Shyness and social anxiety can have serious negative impacts on a teenager’s academic performance, as their self-doubt and uncertainty can undermine their approach to school work, creating a self-defeating vicious circle. In a recent article, Understood, an organization that works with high school students found 5 stress factors they face:
Fear of Failure
Teenagers who have struggled in the past, or have a history of failure, may find the academic demands of high school even greater.
Apex Academy Online recognizes the potential stress teens face in high school, and to help address those issues, offers guidance and support to make their journey through high school as smooth as possible.
When a teen enrolls into any of Apex Academy Online courses, a teacher and guidance counsellor personally connects with them to introduce themselves and to find out how the teen likes to approach their work so that they are aware of any potential issues that may affect the teen’s performance, helping to maximize their chances of success.
Tougher Academics and More Responsibility
The demands of high school academics increase every year and at the same time they have to speak up for what they need and self-advocate to help them achieve success.
Right from the start, in Apex Academy Online courses, the teen knows who to contact for academic support and is actively encouraged to express their views and share their ideas with others in a safe, supportive environment.
Social situations can also be a source of stress. Teenagers might feel pressure to fit in, to be popular, and to have a lot of friends — whether these are real friends or not. As teenagers become more independent, they may find themselves in new and even risky situations where they need to make tough choices.
In a virtual high school, teens are not pressured, or forced, to participate in online activities; they can take their time and allow their confidence to grow until they are comfortable sharing their ideas.
Uncertainty About the Future
In high school, teenagers will have to begin to decide what career they may want to pursue, as well as any associated post-secondary program such as university, college, or vocational training. Each of these elements presents teenagers with questions, doubts and uncertainty as to whether their goals are achievable.
Working with their teacher and guidance counsellor, teens in Apex Academy Online courses can discuss their goals and concerns when they arise, helping to address any doubts or uncertainty that may prevent them from being successful.
Concerns About University or College
The process of getting into a post-secondary program of their choice can be challenging for some teenagers, particularly where specific application processes are in place or minimum grade requirements have to be met.
Apex Academy Online guidance counsellors are always available to help teens work through their post-secondary program choices and any associated applications to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
How Virtual High Schools Help Shy Teens
Virtual online schools, such as Apex Academy Online, help shy and socially anxious teens learn more effectively by creating a safe learning environment where they are able to focus on the course material without having to socially compete as they may have in a traditional classroom setting. Asynchronous learning modules, like those offered by Apex Academy Online, allow students to work at their own pace and not feel pressured to either keep up or feel held back, by others around them.
Virtual high schools offer socially anxious, or shy teens a safe, supportive environment to help them build their confidence and self-esteem while working toward achieving their academic goals. The flexibility of online education allows teens to develop a customized program to meet their personal needs and objectives. There will be no peer pressure, expectations or gender bias as to which courses a teen can or should take, all avenues are open for them to explore. A recent survey on global trends in digital learning found that 47% of women stated that online learning offers the privacy some people need to pursue subjects they wouldn’t feel confident to take on in person.
Although teens primarily work through the course material on their own, virtual high schools also encourage collaboration between teens through blogs, discussion boards and other group activities, allowing those teens who may anxious or shy, to slowly develop their confidence at a pace that is most comfortable to them. Virtual high schools, like Apex Academy Online, understand that patience is the key to helping teens develop their confidence to make their voices heard.