So I moderately secretly have some anxiety issues (maybe not so secretly, but let me have this one, okay?) Most of my anxiety issues stem from things that will be happening in the near future, things that aren't bad so much as things that I have no control over.
first serious attack of anxiety was two years ago on my last day in
Vienna. The rest of the group had left, I had one day alone, and I
spent that entire day wandering the city I'd grown to love, having
anxiety attacks at all my favorite places, and considering getting a
paper bag to breathe in to aid the tightness in my chest.
I go though phases of serious anxiety and phases without, but like the
yin and yang symbol, the periods with have brief isles of relief and
the periods without are studded with nights I'm up until 2 or 3 or 4.
So naturally, this whole college thing has been a roller coaster of
anxiety. I was good the first month after I got in (better than good, cloud nine), but spent January anxiety-ridden. I got over that and had smooth sailing through May which was ridden with a
these-people-are-too-smart-for-me anxiety that only comes from
slightly-pretentious teenagers in a Class of 2016 Facebook group
coupled with occasional articles you come across like "10 most
grueling colleges in the country" (yeah, we were number 4).
Anyway, this anxiety being on and off mirrors my
binging on the Facebook group. Recently, someone posted a quote from the book
they were reading that said some pretentious things about Swarthmore.
A discussion ensued and when the book title and author were mentioned,
I realized I'd been on a panel discussion with the author. And that
was one of those Anxiety Be Gone moments. Because the panel wasn't
really that big a deal at all. But saying it, it sounded prestigious
and intelligent and like the kind of thing a Swarthmore student should
be saying. And wierdly, that was reassuring, because I realized that
all those thing that sounded good on paper, that had been giving me so
much anxiety, they're mostly bullshit anyway.