Amelia Academy


2019, January 28: – The twelfth annual Chapel Talk series at Amelia Academy continued on January 23rd with a speech given by senior Randy B.

Having written two other speeches, Randy B. wrote a third one that he delivered on January 23. He explained that his anxiety about giving the speech, a requirement for graduation, made him second-guess his first two topics. That’s when he decided to speak about the very thing – anxiety – that was keeping him from finishing his speech.

Randy explained that anxiety is a physical response to “prepare for a situation that your body sees as intense.” And, Randy is not alone in his struggle with anxiety. Quoting the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, he said that 40 million Americans have anxiety or related disorders that include panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

Randy offered several ways that he has discovered to lessen the negative impacts of anxiety. “Try to cut out foods and beverages such as coffee. . . which can raise all your emotions including anxiety.” Avoiding too much sugar and starch that increase blood sugar can help reduce anxiety.

Randy said that foods such as blueberries can help “lower the hormones for stress.” Foods rich in Vitami n D, B, and E, such as almonds, eggs, and salmon also help.

Going outside for exercise offers another positive way to deal with stress. “Sleeping is a very good way of dealing with anxiety,” Randy said, “as long as you don’t do it in class,” he added.

Even though there are many good modifications that can lower stress, Randy said that dealing with the s ource might be the solution. “Find out what you’re anxious about and face it,” he said. “You are not going to accomplish anything by running away from it.”

What has helped Randy the most is realizing that anxiety is a part of life. There is no escaping negative emotions all the time. “It’s something we have to experience as human beings.”

Even though Randy doesn’t want to be overwhelmed by anxiety, he has come to appreciate its role in his life. “I wouldn’t want to be without it,” he said. “It’s the thing that makes us double-check what we mig ht have done wrong. It is what prevents us from getting into bad situations . . . and motivates us to do thi ngs.”

Randy has been a student at the Academy since pre-kindergarten. In his introduction, Rodney Taylor, Head of School, spoke about Randy’s perseverance during adversity as the harbinger of a successful future.

Randy’s grandmother, Virginia B., attended his chapel talk.

Guests and members of the senior class attended a reception after the Chapel Talk program.