'I Just Want To Relax': Living With Anxiety During Midterms

It was midterm week at school. Students packed the library with their study guides, laptops, and textbooks clocking in all-nighters with blood, sweat, and tears because they simply wanted an A. I was one of those students. All I wanted was to get As on my midterms. Sometimes I found myself not being able to concentrate because I kept worrying about the midterm before I could take it.

“I’m so worthless.” “I’m not going to do well.” “Why bother? I’m going to fail anyways.” “My professor probably thinks I’m a joke.” “I want to show my professor I’m not weak.” “I’m a failure.” “Maybe I should just kill myself instead of facing failure.”

These thoughts and many more were too real. Thoughts like these are real for many people who deal with general anxiety disorder. According to the ADAA, The Anxiety and Depression Association of America, general anxiety disorder, or GAD, is defined as people who experience excessive anxiety and worry, they often expect the worst to happen when there is no reason too. In general, GAD is severe and excessive worry that can infer with daily and activities.

My experience with GAD started as young as I can remember. I worried about the smallest things and feared the impending doom I thought was going to approach. As a college student, things haven’t gotten easier with my GAD. Any college student can relate in wanting to strive to be the best, and you will go any limits to achieve that goal, even if it means moving top human needs, like sleep, to the bottom of the list.

Living with GAD as a college student is hard to mange in daily life. It’s a struggle every day because when you want to have peace, but you can’t because your mind is racing with so many worries. You worry from the morning you wake up to the time you want to sleep. I will often find myself being completely drained and having dull headaches because my mind was on a “worry run,” and then the next day the cycle starts again.

People should know that GAD is real and it drains you. No one likes feeling anxiety, and no wants to constantly worry. GAD can ruin your day in a second; that is why when I was officially diagnosed at the age of 17, I started looking for ways to express my worries, whether it was through writing in a journal, art, or just talking to someone I trust and expressing why I am worried about a particular thing.

GAD may not be easy to live with, but it’s possible to take control. Good and bad days happen, but you can get back up, which is a bright side.

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Photo by Alex Jones, via Unsplash

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