Life is stressful, especially during college. It's hard to balance every little thing and still stay (kind of) sane. Call me crazy, but I would say that most people have or had anxiety at some point in their college career. Whether it be diagnosed or not, or whether it be constant or situational, everyone has felt like the walls closing in on them. Here's a few things that you definitely shouldn't say to someone when they are anxious.


"You're fine."

Not anymore, I'm not. Actually, if I'm freaking out, it's very obvious that I'm not fine. I feel horrible, and it's a little less than comforting to know that you're so uninterested in helping me out, that you just spit "you're fine" at me.

"Just be positive."

I've tried. It's pretty hard to stay positive when it feels like everything around you is negative. And you know what? It's okay to not be okay sometimes. Now is one of those times when I'm just down about life, and I really don't need "just be positive" thrown at me from all angles.

"Just calm down."

Congrats: you just made me even more upset. As I said, it's okay to not be okay sometimes. Let me be upset. Let me freak out for a minute. I'll get over whatever this is.

"Just go talk to them."

For people with social anxiety, that's hard to do. Don't make me feel inferior just because I'm scared of starting a conversation with someone. I can't help it.

Anything implying that "my problems are worse than yours."

Your problems may in fact be worse than mine, but never say that to me when I'm freaking out. If I actually open up enough to vent my issues to you, you better sit there and respect what I'm saying. Never say "that sucks but listen to what happened to me," "trust me I know that happened to me too, but it was worse," or "at least you don't have to do what I did/have to do." I opened up to you and made myself vulnerable, and you just completely shut me down. Good luck ever getting me to cry on your shoulder again.


Parents: remember these five things next time your child calls you crying, because they're completely overwhelmed with school.

Friends: remember these five things next time your best friend cancels plans that y'all had, because he/she has a lot to get done.

Everyone: remember that everyone handles stress differently, and that no two people have the exact same life. Be there to support the people who are shutting down, rather than being what shuts them down with one of these five things.