My experience with anxiety at university

As some of you already know, I struggled a lot with anxiety throughout my time at university. Even though I was still able to achieve a lot during my time at university, anxiety made things a lot harder at times. I want to use this article to share my experience with anxiety at university. It was actually my experiences of anxiety that motivated me to start this blog in the first place, as initially I wanted to use this blog as a way of raising awareness of mental health topics.  Even though I talk about my own experience with anxiety in this article, everyone’s experience is different. Therefore, someone else’s experiences will probably be different to mine in some way. However, I hope this article can help others gain a greater understanding of what it is like to struggle with anxiety, or any other mental health problem for that matter.

The main thing that I found was that dealing with anxiety can be mentally exhausting, and felt like an extra burden that I constantly had to deal with. It was an extra burden in the sense that it was a barrier I had to overcome in almost anything, even for small things like getting out of bed. People who know me will know that I can be very productive most of the time when I put my mind into it. However, there were times where my anxiety proved to be an initial barrier that I had to overcome before I could start being productive. For me, anxiety was linked to ongoing, stressful thoughts and an overactive brain. Combine that with an extremely full on schedule that comes with being a university student and there were times where my brain literally couldn’t take any more. Despite this, there were times where I took the mental exhaustion as a sign of a busy schedule and something which was normal at university, which meant that I sometimes denied the fact that my anxiety was taking a toll on me.

The worst part about my anxiety was that it was sometimes hard to see the light of the tunnel. I know that in previous articles I have talked about the importance of having a positive attitude. However, we need to address the fact that for people with anxiety or any other mental health problem, there are moments where it is hard to maintain a positive attitude. I always believed and had hopes that there would be a time where the anxiety would completely go away, and indeed there were moments where anxiety didn’t affect me. Despite this, there were also moments that would trigger my anxiety, which was annoying and frustrating. One thing I learnt over time though is that anxiety isn’t something that will completely go away, but you can still find ways to deal with it effectively and become the best version of yourself. This change of mindset from hoping that my anxiety would completely go away to accepting that my anxiety would always be there but I could find ways to deal with it more effectively made a big difference.

I also found it very hard to open up about my anxiety to others. I know that everyone says that talking about your problems is always the best thing to do, but sometimes that is easier said than done. For me, I would always struggle to talk about my anxiety with people that couldn’t relate to it, mainly due to the fear that I would be judged and looked at differently. Furthermore, I also felt at the time that dealing with my anxiety was my own problem and not for others to interfere with, and that it would be more productive for me to deal with it on my own. Whilst that approach did allow me to take ownership of the problem which actually worked well most of the time, it also meant I bottled things up. The advice I would give here is that everyone deals with anxiety differently. Some will be like me and deal with it on their own as much as they can, whereas others will talk about every small problem they are facing with others. Provided the approach genuinely helps the individual deal with the problem, there is no such thing as a wrong approach in dealing with it.

Despite all the challenges and struggles that I faced with my anxiety, the defining thing I think about when I look back on my experience with anxiety at university is what I learnt from it. Even though anxiety made achieving my goals harder at times, there was a lot of positive things that came out of it. For example, anxiety taught me that it is only by having incredibly bad days that you can really appreciate the good days. Furthermore, I remember considering anxiety as a challenge I was ready to overcome, making me even more motivated and determined to succeed. That is why I never wanted anyone to feel sympathy for me, as I wanted to use my anxiety to prove to myself that I could overcome any challenge presented to me. So even though struggling with anxiety was extremely tough, there were some useful things that came out of it that will help me going forward.

I hope this blog post gave you a good insight on my experience with anxiety at university. Whilst the anxiety hasn’t completely gone away, I can now manage it a lot better than before. One piece of advice that I would give to readers from my experiences is to reach out to your friends and family even if you have a slight doubt that they may be struggling. In my case, a lot of my struggles were invisible from other people, but it was the wonderful friends and family that took the initiative to reach out that made a huge difference. I agree that we all have busy schedules, but reaching out may just involve a simple text message asking how someone is every now and then, which will only take up one minute of your day. Furthermore, another piece of advice that I would give to someone that is struggling with anxiety or any other mental health problem is to take heart from the fact that you are trying your best despite the challenges you are currently facing. Struggling with a mental health problem can be exhausting, so even trying to cope despite that shows that you are extremely resilient, which is a really important skill to have in life.

69 thoughts on “My experience with anxiety at university

  1. I relate to this a lot – I struggled with anxiety, particularly in my first year of university, and I found it incredibly difficult to open up to anyone about it! I’ve learnt over the last year or so how to manage it, and, similarly to you, I also love to see it as a challenge to overcome. The positive side to it is that it gives you so much strength and I’ve found that the more I focus on reframing my thoughts, the more I see the rational side to my mind’s argument 😊

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Aww thats so good, I am really glad you didn’t let the anxiety win!! Reframing your thoughts is so important. Best of luck for the future, and I look forward to reading more of your blog posts!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I still struggle with anxiety post school years, it’s present in every meeting I have, any time I have to answer the work phone or even just show up! What I’ve found helps is reminding myself what the worst case scenario is and convincing myself that it isn’t that bad or probable. That works when the anxiety is persistent in your routines

    Liked by 4 people

  3. As a university student I can definitely relate. I also really agree with talking to people if you are struggling. A lot of us feel like we need to hold it in and deal with it ourselves and sometimes this works out but if you feel really overwhelmed you should definitely seek help.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As someone who used to be a mental health nurse, I do think that anxiety issues can run in the family. It can also be brought on with life’s circumstances. I do think going to college or uni is particularly anxiety provoking with lots of new people to meet and different timetable to get used to (that also changes each year/term)

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I think Anxiety doesnt really ever go away, you can take steps to limit it, deal with, making positive inroads in it, but i think for me it will come and go throughout life especially under stress like University etc.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I can’t begin to imagine how exhausting it was dealing with anxiety whilst at university. I’m glad you started this blog as a way to talk about it all.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Opening up to others is always hard when you have anxiety but especially so in a situation like a university where all the people around you are new and don’t know you as well x

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I didn’t go to university but can imagine it is a very daunting experience, especially at first. Talking about anxiety definitely helps

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the kind words! Indeed the main reason I started my blog was due to my struggles with anxiety, and I wanted to use my blog as a platform to raise awareness about mental health, as well as share my own experiences.

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Having to deal with anxiety and go through such a stressful time like University must have been so difficult. I commend you for persevering.
    Thank you for sharing this. I’m sure theres a lesson to be learnt for all of us here!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well anixety in the times like these can be nauseating and horrible. I get you man. House arrest and online classes can become a hell. Hang in there and keep blogging and inspiring others. Good day ✌🌸😊

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow! You nailed it! During college I suffered “Test anxiety” and it always caused blocks in my brain to needed information. I think this anxiety is why so many fail tests. It’s not that they can’t learn. It’s the blocks in your mind this anxiety causes.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great post! I notice for me anxiety comes when I am worried about the future. Most of the time the future never arrives in the manner I feared it would. my anxiety ends up being unnecessary. I try to keep it in that perspective whenever it tears it’s ugly head.
    Good job 👏

    Like

  13. I can feel this anxiety.. it’s really frustrating and many a time land up in giving lonely feeling. This is also the bignning of depression.. it’s better to look for Solutions once we start feeling it.. keep sharing related experiences, it truly helps..

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This is a great post. I agree positive attitude can be hard at times, I think being aware you are experiencing anxiety is helpful, and knowing you are not the anxiety. Thank you for sharing this, it will help others 😊

    Like

  15. Hi I hope you are okay and getting through your anxiety battle! My issues are kinda similar I have gotten through my social anxiety but have a major phobia of sick so being in a British uni this is an issue haha! Lovely reading someone else’s experience it was really heartwarming and my heart goes out to you! I’m sending you all my love and support! If you ever want to talk my Instagram is @thefineststudent on Instagram and Pinterest! ❤️

    Like

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