I listened and followed the advice given to me as much as possible. Dealing with anxiety throughout high school was a roller coaster ride, and I thought college would be better. But entering community college, I wasn’t sure what to expect; I expected nothing.
Community college was an easy start because it’s cheap and I was still close to home. In addition, I took care of a part-time job, homework and personal responsibilities. However, specializing in communication and developing a “voice” made it easier to handle some things.
After my two years at community college, I overcame the anxiety I had faced from high school to community college by standing in front of peers and older age groups for my presentations. Even though it wasn’t easy, I was able to do it.
Then a pullback occurred in the fall of 2020.
It was officially time for Bradley University, a bigger school. More people and the pandemic came on board. Over the past two years, the world has taken many steps to respond to the pandemic with social distancing measures and face masks. As a result, Bradley had to modify some restrictions for staff and students.
Bradley sent my anxiety through the roof, and it was scary. As a junior coming to a bigger school, I had no friends other than my roommates, like a freshman. I was a clumsy human. It doesn’t help that everything is socially distanced, so I was breaking the rules even if I tried.
In each course I had, I had the chance to meet new people and form different relationships with my teachers and other students. Fortunately, after the two years I spent with Bradley, I got the best experience that I never thought I would have. Writing for different organizations, helping produce BUTV, and meeting some amazing people who I’d like to think I’ll be friends with for a while has been my time at Bradley.
After returning to a full, less restrictive year and having more of my own experiences, my anxiety slowed down and I was able to work on my own life without the heartbeat.
As a senior and preparing to leave school and join real life, I can happily say that I am. Not. Ready.
Leaving school and having to find a good job is terrifying. I have no idea what I’m doing. Do I stay in Peoria, or will I go back to Quincy or the option to pack everything out of Illinois? Despite all the experiences I’ve had and are still gaining, I still struggle to find the right path I want to pursue.
One more month of living in St. James, being up until four in the morning and working on six newspapers in a week – it’s crazy how fast it all goes. But, even though I have no idea where I will be in a month, I know it will take time to figure it out.