Q&A with Sophomore Briana Armenta

Sophomore Briana Armenta is enrolled in seven classes. Her mother, who is single and working, drops her at school early every day and picks her up later in the evening. Briana is currently not working, but has held several jobs throughout the past couple years. At home, she spends an average of three hours a night on homework.

Q: What is the most difficult thing to handle in your life?

A: Staying in school. It’s actually really hard for me to stay in school… A lot of times I feel like it’d be better if I dropped out and got a job because my mom is struggling [financially] at the moment, so it’s kind of hard for me to really be present, to really be here at school and actually try to graduate and go on from there.

Q: How often do you feel stressed and how do you handle it?

A: I’m always stressed. For a long time I wasn’t really able to deal with my stress the way everybody else does: by talking to people. I kept it all in and it just affected me to the point where I ended up in the hospital for things like that so I’ve learned to deal with it by not taking too much on at one time and just taking it day by day.

Q: How has working influenced you?

A: Working at Great America and having to talk to random people and having to approach them and really put myself out there, be loud, and make myself seen and heard has affected me in everyday life because now I’m less afraid to really make myself heard and talk to people and actually put myself out there.

Q: What do you like about who you’ve become through dealing with these struggles?

A: I like that I’ve been able to help my mom in a way. I’ve had a job. I started working during the summer of eighth grade and I’ve worked every summer [after that]. I work to help my mom and so I think that’s one thing I’m honestly really proud of: being able to help my mom the way she’s helped me my whole life.

Q: What do you not like about who you’ve become dealing with these struggles?

A: I don’t like how I feel that a lot of times what I do isn’t enough, and a lot of times I feel like I could be doing so much more to really help my mom and help myself. Sometimes it’s just who I am. It’s just hard for me to really do what’s best for the situation.

Q: What do you want people to know about these issues or yourself or people who deal with this?

A: No matter where you are in the social classes, we’re all the same. We’re all high school students. We’re all going through the same things, whether it’s financially or just internally. I think it’s important to always remember that other people matter just as much as you do.