Crowd anxiety flared by student’s congestion in the hallways


Kaylie Donahue via Canva

The crowds are too big, too fast, and overstimulating. Crowd anxiety is real, and only has solidified during the pandemic. 

I’m only halfway through my school day and I can already feel the budding pit in my stomach. The crazed haze of highschoolers rushing in eight-foot wide halls is the definition of overwhelming. 

A blur of senselessness and panic right before my eyes, all while I simply try to get from point A to B. The crowds are too big, too fast, and overstimulating. Crowd anxiety is real, and only has solidified during the pandemic. 

For being a person with social anxiety, one blessing in disguise during COVID-19 was the ability to have every person in your vicinity be automatically six feet away from you. Precautions were put in place everywhere: you couldn’t even walk six feet without seeing a sign that told you to stay apart. The six-foot distance has reduced to three-feet yet the student body has turned three feet to three inches in mere minutes. 

Personally, I have always had a history with issues within large crowds. I’m no stranger to social anxiety as well. I’ve never felt such pressure within a classroom just because of the sheer number of kids in the classroom. It feels wrong to have over 12 students in a classroom. 

The worst seems to be in the hallways, with a broken rotary and 2,000 students attempting to walk to class. This leads to collisions and tardy slips for the rest of the day. And if the crowds weren’t giving me anxiety, the fear of being late to class from a ten minute ordeal in the mosh-pit we call our lobby takes the cake. 

So to overall sum up my feelings of the week: ick.

The constant close proximity and congestion is making me not just anxious, but feel like I need to take a shower as well. We’ve been told for the last year to not touch others under most circumstances. Now I’m thrown to the masses and pray that my walk to chem isn’t a part of a super spreader epicenter. Even with the adjusted rotary meant to help with the overwhelming amount of congestion, students still find a way to conjugate in the worst areas. You want to go hug your friend? Cool, just don’t compress me against the wall to get there. 

With the sheer amount of madness surrounding the first week back, it seems that the hope for a better week after vacation seems to be similar to believing in Santa Claus. The unhinged behaviour of teens will always surprise me. I understand wanting to talk and catch up with friends over the week-long separation, but please do so without body checking one another and clogging up the only way of transportation we have.  

Don’t worry, I understand that you can’t stay six feet at all times especially in the hallways; having people who can flat-tire you and crash shoulders seems too close for comfort. The six foot rule is an embarrassment and, after Sununu’s order, so is the mask mandate. Even though we aren’t forced to stay six feet apart and wear masks, doesn’t mean we’re free to do so in the school. 

So to all that it may concern: wear a mask, walk one foot in front of the other and finally‒