I'm Tired Of Letting Anxiety Keep Me From Chasing Dreams

I'm Tired Of Letting Fear And Anxiety Keep Me From Chasing My Dreams

The future can be scary, but it doesn't have to be.

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Growing up I remember being an extremely passionate child. When I loved something, the people closest to me knew everything about it. I wasn't afraid of making my reality, often getting lost in a world of 'what-if's' and 'could be's.' Just like every little girl, I dreamed of being a pop star, a doctor, a teacher, a lawyer, a real estate agent, a pilot, and even a stay-at-home mom.


Playing dress up and taking care of baby dolls at age seven, walking around in my moms' heels at ten, writing songs at thirteen, telling people I knew I wanted to be a nurse at sixteen. I couldn't wait to grow up. My longing for adulthood made the ability to dream up any possible career seem second nature because I was fascinated by the endless possibilities that the unknown future possessed.

I am no longer fascinated by all of the unknown possibilities that life presents.

I fear them.

I dreamed big and often as a child, but I haven't in a while.

Recently I've felt detached from what were once dreams and goals. Since starting college and entering the world that is adulthood, my anxiety has acquainted itself with a voice in my head that tells me I am not strong or deserving enough to have the things in life I once dreamed about. These voices instill in me a constant underlying worry convincing me that I must merely exist to get through the day.

They are plaguing my mind with fear of failure and disappointment.

This of worry and fear of the unknown makes it hard to appreciate the little accomplishments that occur day-to-day. This worry and fear of what my future may hold have made it hard to be proud of the big things that I've already achieved.

Life is supposed to be about taking risks. I know this.

I know my life has the potential to be everything that I once dreamed it to be. I am only in my second year of college, yet, I want to run and hide when asked about my plans post-graduation. I am just in my second year of college; however, I have changed my major and transferred schools… twice.

It is a new year, and as cliche, as it is to say, it is also a chance for new beginnings. My New Year's Resolution for 2019 was to confide in one of those self-reflective, leather-bound journals that you buy off the shelf of Barnes and Noble. This week I prompted myself to write about something that I am afraid of with the hope to address and overcome it throughout 2019.

My greatest fear isn't spiders or clowns or being kidnapped. Although these things are all genuine fears I have, they do not overwhelm my day-to-day life. My greatest fear is that I am 19-years-old and am void of the great dreams and grand ideas that inspired me as a child.

I have become accustomed to expecting the worst to occur leaving me only slightly satisfied when things turn out okay.

Adulthood is overwhelming.

College is overwhelming.

Everything about the real world feels overwhelming. Will I be successful? How do I find my place in it? I've realized that I tend to place my happiness in whether or not I'm navigating successfully through the trails of early adulthood. I run away from chasing my dreams and setting big goals because I fear disappointment.

However, won't I be disappointing myself anyway if I remain in this mindset that let's fear and anxiety take control of my self-esteem? I have already experienced disappointment, hurt, failure, and heartbreak, yet, I've still been successful. I have already experienced happiness and success so I why should I be hesitant to experience it again?

I shouldn't be.

Life isn't fully lived when we act in forethought and avoidance of the 'what if's' and 'could be's' that can introduce us to disappointment and hurt.

While living life this way has gotten me far, has it made me truly happy? The best things to happen in my life have been those experiences that have been unplanned and unexpected, not the moments I had tried so hard to plan and prepare for. These experiences took me for a ride into unfamiliar territory that I eagerly welcomed.

Now, as we welcome in 2019, I am ready.

I am ready to tear down walls that I've allowed to be built around my heart out of the fear and anxiety that the uncertainty of my future presents. In 2019 I will throw myself into my passions even when the voice that is my anxiety tells me I am not strong or deserving, even when they scream at me to run away. I will remind myself that some responsibilities can wait because you need to take a step back and reward yourself for the hard work you have already accomplished.

In 2019 I want to be okay with wanting things, even the big ones. I want to allow myself to dream again, to lose myself in the world of 'what-if's' and 'could be's' without fear of disappointment and hurt. I want to honor little Hannah's ambition and imagination by relearning what it's like to live as an adult with that kind of passion and spirit.

It is 2019, and it is time to let go.

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ASU Students Push For A Healthier Dining Hall To Counter 'Freshman 15' Fears

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap.

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Arizona State University students are pushing for change within the downtown Phoenix dining hall as they strive to avoid the infamous freshman 15.

The downtown Phoenix campus offers fewer dining options than the Tempe campus and has a less appetizing dining hall. The freshman 15 is a common scare among students living in the dorms, who are often freshman.

The freshman 15 is defined as a student who gains 15 pounds or more in their first year of college. Studies prove the average freshman does not exercise the right amount, is sleep deprived, has a poor diet, increases their stress level, alcohol consumption, and fatty food intake, which is most likely causing their weight gain.

Lauren Hernandez

Daniella Rudoy, a journalism major and fitness instructor at the SDFC, relived her freshman year as she provided tips for incoming freshman.

"There are a lot of workouts you can do in your dorm room as long as you have access to YouTube or a floor. You can go on a run, a walk, or do exercises that do not require equipment," Rudoy said in support of college fitness.

Rudoy said that mental health, fitness, and nutrition all correlate with one another.

"I follow the saying abs are made in the kitchen. So if you are working out day and night, but eating a giant pizza and chicken wings with a pack of beer when you come home you aren't doing yourself much good," Rudoy said.

Lauren Hernandez

The main cause for weight gain is increased alcohol consumption. 80 percent of college students drink and this includes binge-drinking, which is unhealthy for many reasons.

Students who do not drink are most likely gaining weight because of their exposure to an all-you-can-eat dining hall. The downtown Phoenix campus offers a salad bar as their only consistent healthy option for students, therefore students are left eating hamburgers, fries, and pizza.

"I haven't been to the dining hall this semester. Last semester, I went because I had no other options. I am a vegetarian and the dining hall is not accommodating to those with allergies or food restrictions. I find it very difficult to find vegetarian options," Lexi Varrato, a journalism major said.

Lauren Hernandez

Varrato explained that she believes the freshman 15 is "100% real" and that incoming freshmen should research their meal plans and ask their school how their dietary restrictions will be accommodated before purchasing a non-refundable meal plan.

Megan Tretter, a nursing major at Seattle University emphasized that not every dining hall is like ASU's and that the freshman 15 is "definitely not a problem" at her school.

"I always eat healthy at my dining hall. There are a lot of good and healthy options at Seattle University. I usually go to the smoothie line in the morning, have a salad for lunch, and make myself an acai bowl after work with avocado toast in our floor's kitchen," Tretter said in support of her school's strive for healthy options.

College students across the United States have healthier dining options than ASU, but many colleges still face the same problems that students here are facing.

Tara Shultz, a journalism major at ASU believes she has avoided the "very real" freshman 15 by living at home.

"I believe the freshman 15 targets dorm residence and first-year students who do not live at home as they do not have their parents as a guide and are forced to eat at a dining hall that only serves fatty foods," Shultz emphasized.

Lauren Hernandez

The downtown Phoenix campus offers students access to the SDFC, YMCA, and Taylor Place gym, where students can take group fitness classes, run on a track, play basketball, or swim. Alternative options for students are purchasing a membership at Orangetheory or EOS Fitness.

Most students agreed with journalism major Vanessa Gonzalez that they have little time to work out due to their workload, but many students like Varrato, Tretter, and Rudoy explained that they try to work out every day as it is a stress reliever and it enriches their mental health.

Steve Fiorentino, the owner of Powered Up Nutrition encourages college students to learn what they are putting in their bodies.

"I think it starts with nutrition. Students believe they can outwork a bad diet and I believe that is their number one mistake. My advice is to stop eating fast foods and start eating whole and healthy foods along with supplements," Fiorentino stated.

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap. The campus dining hall is not always the reason to blame as students have the option to decrease their meal plans, become active, and make healthy choices!

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It's Hard Living With Anxiety In A Culture That Romanticizes It

Struggling with a mental health issue becomes even more challenging when people try to make it charming

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If you are someone who knows the struggles of living with anxiety then I'm sure you're not blind to people who are trying to romanticize it. These people are trying to make the anxiety they feel into something cute. The people who are trying to make their anxiety cute most likely do not suffer from an anxiety disorder because if they did, they would understand that there is nothing cute about anxiety. Instead, these people have normal, healthy anxieties that all people get.

The difference between healthy anxiety and anxiety as a mental health problem varies from person to person. Getting a little nervous before a big test is a normal healthy dose of anxiety, but being so upset about the test that you don't sleep the night before and can't stop yourself from shaking as you take the test is not a healthy amount of anxiety and is definitely not cute. Anxiety is something that everyone gets at some points in their life, in small doses it is OK, but when it becomes an everyday struggle, that has crossed over from healthy anxiety to a possible anxiety disorder.

When I was in tenth grade, I was so anxious that I would lash out at people and burst into tears without warning. I stopped doing the things I loved, like playing soccer, because I was too anxious to go to tryouts. I had been playing soccer for as long as I could remember but when I started suffering from anxiety, the thought of going to tryouts was just too much for me. After months of this, I finally went to the doctor. I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. What this means is basically that I am constantly anxious about something.

I'm always worrying something bad is going to happen, or about money and other stressors. After my diagnosis, I was given medication to help try and ease my mind and I started seeing a therapist. While all of this was going on in my life, I never once had the thought to try and make my anxiety cute or thought I was so lucky to have it because it wasn't cute. Nothing about me being so afraid to go try out for soccer was cute. Nothing about me staying up all night because of the nightmares I was having night after night made me think that I was lucky to have so much anxiety. Nothing about my anxiety was romantic.

So why do we see people trying to make it cute, or make it romantic? Well, for some, if they really do have an anxiety disorder and they try to cope by making it seem cute or less scary than it is that's okay because that's their coping method. But if you do not have an anxiety disorder, if every day of your life is not riddled with fear and worry, don't try to romanticize my anxiety. Don't try to make me feel lucky for having it. This is something I will struggle with every day of my life. This is not something I wanted. This is not romantic.

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