Struggling with anxiety in college
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I know what you are thinking, "Not another article on the torturous life of someone experiencing a little anxiety, anxieties are normal, grow up."

Would you believe me if I said I felt the same way?

Here is the thing, anxieties are normal and sometimes they force you to get out of your comfort zone, but other times they can be your biggest inhibitor.

Before I started college, I was overweight - I was 17 years old, standing at 5'4, and weighing in at about 210 Ibs. I struggled with my body image and going to an all-girls school did not make me feel any better. I was insecure with myself and this insecurity translated itself into my school work and my relationships with friends. When I was a junior in high school, I remember feeling symptoms of anxiety creeping into my life. I remember telling my mom, "It is like adrenaline is coursing through my veins and I can't breathe." At the time, I did not relate these symptoms to anxiety, I thought I was just crazy and overly stressed. I began to notice that these symptoms would arise even with the mildest form of interaction often worsening before a big exam or when a teacher asked me a question. The symptoms that I was having made me feel like I was always on edge and it only made my self-worth diminish further.

When it was finally time to start college, I worried about how moving to a new city, a new school, and being alone might affect my mental health. I was worried that my anxiety would keep me from trying new things and exploring all of the great things Marquette has to offer. The excitement of attending a new school and starting college seemed to mask some of my anxiety but after about a month a felt my symptoms coming back- this marked a new change in my life, I went to the gym for the first time in my life. After just a few weeks of going to the gym, I started to see a change in my body and my mental health. By the end of my freshman year of college, I dropped about 60 lbs and I felt stronger and more confident than ever. I did not start working out to lose weight or to be "skinny," I just wanted to be healthy and that is exactly what happened.

My anxiety is not completely gone, but I have found a better way to care for MY mental health. Working out might not be the cure-all for everyone. If you are someone like me who silently struggles with anxiety, I encourage you to find something that you love to do and make it YOURS.

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