Learning to cope with anxiety can be important for students

Feb 6 • Opinion, Top Stories • 266

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Anxiety.
It’s defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary as a strong desire sometimes mixed with doubt, fear or uneasiness.
In my opinion, this could not be further from the truth.
There’s nothing worse than the constant fear you are doing everything wrong, and no matter how much you try to fix it, it still feels like everything is wrong.
As far back as I can remember, I knew I had anxiety.
It was never officially diagnosed, but the constant panic and tight feeling in my chest gave the impression that something was wrong.
For years I remained silent and I let the issue take control my life.
I let my anxiety keep me from showing people my true colors.
If you know me personally, you know I am very bubbly, loud and often speak my mind, even if it gets me into trouble.
Would you believe me if I told you I used to be the girl in the back of the classroom afraid to raise her hand?
My first year of college, I tried to push my anxiety aside and break out of my shell.
I quickly got involved and tried to keep myself distracted from everything going on.
As much as I tried to keep it away, the anxiety always came right back to haunt me.
This past summer, my mother realized there was an issue with me.
I finally came clean and we decided to reach out to my doctor.
There I was officially diagnosed with severe anxiety.
After all those years of people telling me it was all in my head, I finally got the sense of relief I was looking for.
It may seem like something I should be ashamed of, but I am glad that I am not the only one with anxiety.
Unfortunately, anxiety is something a lot of college students have to deal with.
The stress over exams, getting involved, being away from home and everything else it brings is overwhelming.
Since being diagnosed, I have slowly started to pick up on ways to calm myself.
When I’m really overwhelmed, I like to go for walks around campus and the bayfront to clear my head.
Sometimes my roommates like to join me, which is always conformting.
Having people around who understand is always reassuring that you’re not alone.
If I can’t go out for a walk, I try my best to write.
My writing often distracts me from everything going on and helps me perfect my skills.
Although I still struggle with anxiety, I’m fortunate to have people in my life who keep me motivated.
If you or someone you know is struggling, reach out to them.

 

OLIVIA HAHNER
hahner001@knights.gannon.edu

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