Slightly different post today and one which is a bit more personal. As well as making my blog a space where I share positive aspects of my life, I also want to delve deeper and write about issues which are important to me. I know a lot of people suffer from anxiety, and it can be a debilitating and difficult thing to deal with, especially in spaces where there are expectations set upon you. University and school settings in general can often result in severe anxiety and I for one, can understand why. There is the social side of school, getting on with classmates and forming friendships that can be daunting, as well as the academic side. We often put such pressure on ourselves to succeed, that when we don’t meet these standards it can leave us extremely disappointed in ourselves.
Since starting university about 2 years ago now, I have dealt with anxiety, during my first year especially. At first it was mostly the social side of things, going from a college in which I knew most people since lower years made me comfortable and I was in a bubble almost. I remember feeling really scared at the prospect of starting from scratch with people I had never met before. It would keep me up at night sometimes thinking about whether university was really the place for me and if I would find friends and connect with people. It was far beyond the ‘normal’ level of nerves and I used to feel really nauseous too.
Before going to uni you see a lot of people who are already there, having the time of their lives it seems and getting involved in so many cool things. For someone with anxiety, while that is appealing, it is also a daunting prospect. I speak only for myself but I know my anxiety has held me back from taking part in a lot of things I would have liked to, but I am trying to find ways to beat this. It is an ongoing struggle but I do feel more confident after 2 years, it does in fact get better. I sign up for things now and ask my friends to come with me if I need that support and I’m grateful to have found my small group who support me when I need it.This is not to say that I don’t still suffer from anxiety but I have found ways of managing it better.
I will definitely say that talking to people, again as daunting as that is at times, is the key. I was reassured by loads of people that everyone is new at uni, we’re all feeling the same way and a friendly face and conversation is all we wanted. So I steeled myself and I spoke to new people, even during freshers week and the first week of classes and it’s amazing how nice people were. If you just try, people will surprise you, and most importantly you’ll surprise yourself. You can do it, even if it’s a small accomplishment to others, you can overcome that barrier and kick anxiety to the side, it will feel great.
As well as the social side, I was at first anxious about the actual assessments and succeeding in those. Sixth form and A levels was probably the most challenging and exhausting years of my life, education wise and I was so worried that Uni would be the same. Thankfully, it has been the complete opposite to what I feared. I found myself and still do find myself really connecting with my course and this makes the work infinitely easier to attempt. Of course it is still challenging, but in a way I am ready to accept. I am studying a subject I am truly passionate about and it makes all the difference. I would also recommend emailing lecturers about any worries, I have to mention that my teachers at uni have been so understanding and welcoming that it did ease my nerves.
This is my personal experience and I hope that it has helped any of you feel less alone and know that there others who feel the way you do. Take it from me, it really does get better and by second year you’ll hopefully feel much more at home in uni, I know I do.
Until next time, Rumaanah x