Humans of Liberty - Patrice Kasten (Class of 2023)

"My first day of second grade, I was terrified to go inside. I cried with my mom until a student teacher took my hand and walked me inside. I became more comfortable at school over the years but it never got easier. Middle school started off well. I joined the volleyball team and played the French horn. Going to school was fine, but when I was there I would always be nervous. I remember sitting in class fine one minute and I’d be crying the next with no idea why...

I would always just go to the nurse but there was nothing really wrong. My mom ended up taking me to my doctor and they found that I had anxiety and a panic disorder. When I would suddenly start crying in class, I was actually having panic attacks. They continued through middle school and into my freshman year. My freshman year started off well and eventually we got out for winter break. Returning to school after break was harder than I thought it would be. The first day back, my dad dropped me off and I couldn’t get out of the car because of the panic attack I was having. I sat with him for almost an hour and ended up having to go back home. The next day, my guidance counselor had to come out and walk me inside. The first week of sophomore year I was sitting in French class getting ready to do a presentation. When it was my turn, I went up to the front of the room and I couldn’t speak. I was crying in front of the entire class and only to make things worse, it was on picture day. Liberty has helped me through this because of all the amazing teachers and counselors that have worked with me. If my counselor hadn’t walked me inside that day during freshman year, I have no idea when I would have been able to come back to school. Liberty has also given me so many other opportunities. Now I play varsity volleyball and I am a co-captain of the majorette squad. Being involved is really what has kept me in school over the past few years, I love having something to look forward to at the end of the day to keep me going."

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