Ways I Have Turned My Anxiety Into A Postive

Ways I Have Turned My Anxiety Into A Postive

Anxiety is a struggle, but it doesn't have to be.
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There is an indefinite number of times I can recall when my anxiety disorder kept me from doing whatever it is that I wanted to do at the moment. I've negatively dealt with it for a long time, but college has given me a positive outlook on my life. Here are some of the ways that I've learned to help anxiety no longer dominate my life:

1. Find friends who also deal with the same issue.

In my small graduating class of 42, I found that I was unfortunately the only person who was "different." Attending college gave me the opportunity to make not one, but several friends who also suffer from some sort of anxiety disorder. It has been a major relief to have people that I can talk to, and they can truly relate to what I'm saying.

2. Stop thinking every person is judging you.

A constant issue that I dealt with throughout high school was the fact that people knew I had anxious outbursts before I had to do public presentations or speak in class. It felt like everyone would just prepare as they all knew I was going to shake and stutter during my time to speak. College has proven me so wrong. Plenty of people in my classes don't even pay attention when the professor is talking let alone when someone is trying to ask a question and whatnot.

3. Embrace unfamiliar surroundings.

I never went to parties or even had enough friends to be invited to a ton of social gatherings in high school. I didn't really have any guy friends, and most guys from my hometown weren't the most ideal to befriend anyway. Coming to college has shown me that nice guys do exist. And nice guys at parties aren't always trying to get one thing. Parties no longer make me uncomfortable and feel out of place. I know I don't even have to drink to have a good time, and no one judges me for it.

4. Don't be afraid to mention that you have anxiety to a teacher.

I didn't tell any of my professors about my condition until one of them asked to have a meeting with me when she noticed I paid attention but didn't say much in class. I felt 10,000,000 times better after I came clean to her during our meeting, and she even arranged a way for me to be able to express what I want to say in class without having to normally participate in the ways that I felt uncomfortable.

5. Lead by example.

With my anxiety disorder, I've learned that everyone is affected differently. I've come to realize that I know people who are more socially anxious than I am. For example, one of my friends was too afraid to order food at a restaurant. I'm usually the person who is afraid to speak up, but since she seemed so terrified, I spoke up and gave both of our orders. It felt good to just say something and not feel that sick-to-my-stomach feeling like I usually experience. I know It's hard to handle the anxiety, but it also feels great when I'm able to pull myself together even for just a moment in time.

6. Don't let attacks set you back.

I've had much experience with panic attacks. I can't say that I've panicked so much that I've needed to be admitted to a hospital, but I do know that feeling that rises up from my gut and makes me feel so afraid that I'll cry for hours on end. I used to skip school when I was having a day where I would feel anxious. College doesn't work that way. I've taught myself breathing techniques from self-help articles, and I consult someone when I'm feeling an attack coming on. I always thought that I would never get anywhere in life because of the "bad card" I was dealt (AKA anxiety). I've learned through my latest experiences that I wasn't cursed but rather blessed with something that I use to help others who also deal with the same struggle. Having an anxiety disorder has made me empathetic (which, in my opinion, is never a bad thing) and understanding

Cover Image Credit: Pretty Opinionated

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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A Day In The Life Of A Socially Anxious Person

"I better lower the volume of my phone. Someone sitting next to me might hear what music I'm listening to and judge my song choice."

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According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), social anxiety disorder affects 15 million adults in the United States. It is one of the most common mental illness and yet a lot of people don't know what social anxiety disorder (SAD) exactly is and have misconceptions about it. Social anxiety is often misunderstood as shyness. However, SAD goes beyond shyness. For someone with SAD, daily social interactions can be stressful to handle because of fear of negative evaluation and embarrassment.

To eliminate misunderstandings and spread awareness about SAD, here's a picture diary of what a day in the life of a socially anxious person looks like.

8:30 a.m.

"I better hurry and switch off my alarm before my roommate wakes up. I'm afraid she might hate me for waking her up this early."

12:00 p.m.

"I know the answer to this question but I'm too scared to answer. What if it is wrong and I embarrass myself in front of everyone?"

3:00 p.m.

"I better lower the volume of my phone. Someone sitting next to me might hear what music I'm listening to and judge my song choice."

5:00 p.m.

"I better keep practicing my order in my head otherwise I might stumble upon my words and make a fool of myself."

7:00 p.m.

"I am just going to delay answering this call as I'm afraid to answer the phone. I don't know who is on the other side and am not exactly sure what to say."

10:00 p.m.

"I'd rather not sleep, as if I try to, I'll be reevaluating all the embarrassing moments of my day."

Along with these thoughts, a person suffering from SAD might also experience physical symptoms like nausea, dizziness, flushing, palpitations, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest. If your day looks anything like the picture diary above and you have been experiencing physical symptoms, do not be afraid to seek help.

According to a survey conducted by ADAA, 36% of people with social anxiety disorder report experiencing symptoms for 10 or more years before seeking help. If you are someone who is suffering from SAD, always remember that there's hope. Always seek help as social anxiety disorder is treatable through medication and therapy.

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