Hey, It’s Okay: Dealing with Anxiety

Anxiety. It’s not a pleasant word. It’s also a word that illustrates the feelings of me and my friends when we realize we’re knee deep in thesis projects, midterms, or final exams. Anxiety is a weird feeling because it’s not like a cold. People can’t necessarily see the worry or panic in you, so they treat you normally. But like depression, it’s still a very uncomfortable, and sometimes dangerous, thing to hold inside for a long time. People go through anxiety often, and in college, I’ve met many people who say that they’re suffering from it.

I was talking to a friend who used to suffer from anxiety and depression. She said that part of the reason was because she didn’t know what she wanted to do with herself and she didn’t know where she was going in life. In high school, she went to counseling, but it didn’t help. She said she got better because she found something she loved, in particular a television show and her passion for graphic design. Being lost is scary, so if that is causing some worry, remember that the best thing is to keep searching (not feverishly, but more considerately) for things that are interesting or passion-­worthy. It’s different for everyone.

Some people feel that anxiety stems from a fear of the future. Anxiety isn’t necessarily fearing the future; it’s fearing the inability to control it. I get anxiety from not being to control the outcomes of my future. I don’t know if I’ll get a perfect A this semester, and that freaks me out. I can control my work ethic, but not my professor’s mind. I tell myself that some things are out of my control, and to not blame myself for everything. If I was late because of a train delay, it’s not my fault. Sure, the professor will be irked I walked in during lecture, but I left my house on-time, I was not trying to be late and, well, sometimes things like that happen.

Anxiety is different for everyone, and the reasons are different for everyone. The ways to deal with it varies, from drinking tea in bed to ­exercising at the gym. In the end, the most important thing is to remember that there is always tomorrow, and to not sweat the small stuff. Ten, twenty, thirty years from now, today will just be a blimp in a timeline filled with great experiences. You can do it.

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