EDUCATION

The Class of 2020: Overcoming anxiety to graduate on top

May 14, 2020, 6:33 AM | Updated: Aug 22, 2022, 5:46 pm
Paige Kennedy is graduating with a 3.9 GPA and has a full ride to Southern Utah University to study...
Paige Kennedy is graduating with a 3.9 GPA and has a full ride to Southern Utah University to study chemistry. She did all this while dealing with major anxiety. (Photo: Kelli Pierce)
(Photo: Kelli Pierce)

ERDA, Utah — Paige Kennedy is graduating with a 3.9 GPA and plenty of honors. She will attend Southern Utah University on a full scholarship and plans on studying chemistry, but it took more than just brains to get to the top of the class. Paige has dealt with major anxiety for years. 

“I started struggling when I was in seventh and eighth grade and through my freshman year. It was really hard for me to go and talk to my teachers, so I had a hard time with my grades,” Kennedy says.

Anxiety can be tough for anyone to go through, but it can be extra difficult when you are a girl in high school. 

“I am a very strong feeler, and I take on other people’s emotions very easily. High schoolers are dramatic. Girls are dramatic, and it’s hard for me to be around dramatic people because I take on that emotion myself and it puts me in a really hard place…I’ve taken on their problems, and they’re not mine,” Kennedy says.  

It has gotten easier for Paige with the help of her mother, Monica. 

“Struggling with anxiety, and depression as well, we had to come up with ways for me to calm down and feel safe. My mom always knows what to do. Sometimes I don’t necessarily want to listen to her because I’m struggling. But everything that I’ve done so far, I owe it all to my mom,” Kennedy says. 

Monica Kennedy started a Facebook group called “Adopt A Senior“, which helps people give gifts to the Class of 2020. The Kennedys have adopted a few graduates themselves, while Paige has also gotten gifts. 

Paige is training to be a pharmacy technician right now and hopes to someday work in a lab to find cures for diseases…or maybe even the vaccine for COVID-19. 

“I’ve always been interested in science, and I’ve always loved helping people, so I was already planning on that…This whole COVID thing has definitely made me want to help more people,” Kennedy says.        


Class of 2020

Class of 2020: After family tragedy, 8-year-old asks aunt to “healing prom”

The Class of 2020: Helping others while going through challenges

Today’s Top Stories

Education

The Book of Mormon Art Catalog offers users a variety of ways to conduct specific searches and to b...
Devin Oldroyd

Book of Mormon digital visual art catalog launches Monday

A digital catalog of visual art inspired by the Book of Mormon became available on Oct. 3. It features more than 2,000 pieces.
1 day ago
u of u student arrested...
Waverly Golden

Other paths to consider when thinking about attending college

Following the student loan forgiveness announcement, college is on everyone's mind. Dave Noriega takes an in-depth look at the alternatives.
3 days ago
An electronic sign on the campus of the University of Utah was seen displaying pornography today....
Becky Bruce

Slight increase in crime on U of U campus from previous year, report says

There has been a slight increase in crime on campus over the previous year, according to a report released Friday by the University of Utah.
4 days ago
US President Joe Biden announces student loan relief on August 24, 2022 in the Roosevelt Room of th...
Betsy Klein and MJ Lee, CNN

Biden administration kicks off student loan debt forgiveness process

The Biden administration began its efforts aimed at student loan forgiveness on Thursday.
4 days ago
cline alpine board...
Lindsay Aerts

At Alpine school board meeting, Natalie Cline claims district allows porn in classrooms

Whether Cline, from the Utah Board of Education, can speak at the Alpine district meeting (where she doesn't reside) was questioned.
5 days ago
The wafer with the etched Book of Mormon on it, made by BYU students...
Samantha Herrera

BYU engineering students put ‘world’s smallest Book of Mormon’ on 4 inch disc

The entirety of the Book of Mormon is now on display on a gold-plated 4-inch disc in the Clyde Building at BYU. It'll last millions of years.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
The Class of 2020: Overcoming anxiety to graduate on top