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Oct 09 2017
by Kylie O'Neill

How Going to College Helped Improve My Anxiety

By Kylie O'Neill - Oct 09 2017
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Since middle school, I have had anxiety. No, it's not incredibly bad anxiety, but it is enough that I feel its effects in my everyday life. I'm a shy person to begin with, so as one can imagine, the idea of going to college was terrifying to me. I was anxious about everything: making new friends, classes, going to eat in the dining hall, having a roommate and more. As I chose my college, I was excited enough that I hid my nerves.

Orientation happened over the summer, and it calmed many of my nerves. I made friends, got a taste of the dining hall and living with someone else for a night. However, I knew that orientation was nothing like the school year would be. There were no upperclassmen, our orientation leaders helped us with everything and I knew that I could go home the next day. 

The month of September came around, and it was move-in day. I was looking forward to setting up my room, seeing my roommate and seeing my friends from orientation. To my surprise, the first week of college went better than I could've ever asked for. I found all my classes with no problems. I always had someone to make the trek to the dining hall with me, and I was meeting more and more people each night. I did this by actively trying to overcome my social anxiety and doing things while being with the people who made me feel comfortable.  

Instead of saying no, I found myself saying yes to going to dinner with my friend's friends, going out more and sitting in the common room rather than in my room. By doing these things, I've found that I feel more comfortable at school. I can walk to class or go into the dining hall and say hi to the familiar faces I see. By being in college, I have been presented with the opportunities to try new things and meet more people.

Because of these opportunities right outside my door, I was able to actively put myself into situations that may seem a little scary. I understood that everyone else was new here too, and we all had similar emotions.  I didn't think I would feel so comfortable the first week of school, but I'm thankful I did. From this week I have become more confident and less anxious doing things I once feared.

Lead Image Credit: Unsplash

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Kylie O'Neill - Endicott College

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