September has finally hit us, and it’s back to college for everyone. Excited? Of course you are, sure we all are. Most of us have spent the whole summer working, half way across the country from the people we can now call our second family. The thought of getting back to the craziness of college life is something that puts a smile on all of our faces. But for me, college life brings other things with it. It should feel like it’s all fun and games, but it doesn’t.
The last few nights, I’ve ended up crying myself to sleep. Why? The “A” word of course. Back with a bang is my anxiety, riled up and ready to try and ruin college for me again. What am I worried about? Pretty much everything, if I’m honest. But I’ve decided that I’m not going to let one little thing ruin college for me again. Last semester, I let myself get so bad that I was barely leaving my room. But this time, I’ll be okay.
I was going to write a blog post about why anxiety is ruining my life, and whine and complain and cry and whatever else. But I’ve decided to make this into a more positive post, on why things are going to be so much better this year. I’m putting pen to paper here about why my worries are irrational, which will be a big help in just getting it all out of my head. It’s a new semester, a different semester, and I have the power to make the most of it.
Last semester, I felt really, really alone. I spent a lot of time in my room by myself, and it was hard to find the energy to go out and see my friends. This year, I’m living with my friends, and with the constant laughter and music blaring, there’s no possible way I could feel alone. When I feel like shit, all I have to do is take a couple of steps and I’m in one of their rooms, and things will immediately feel a little better. And my other friends? Conveniently we’re all in the same neighbourhood, so nobody’s more than a five minute walk away.
My major worry for this semester is that I’ll gain back all the weight that I’ve lost. It took absolutely ages and it’s only now that I’m starting to feel okay again, and I don’t want to mess it all up. But now that I live in a house where the kitchen isn’t covered in mould, I can actually cook. That means no more takeaways, and with the gym less than a ten minute walk away, I’d be an idiot to give up my exercising routine. Also the fact that college is a trek of a walk from my house probably won’t allow for much weight gain either. The Chinese across from our house could be a bit of a problem though.
Because I’ve made some really good friends, I don’t have to worry about having panic attacks when I go out. They’re not the kind of people that would leave me outside, alone, in the rain.. And although I feel like such an inconvenience when I have to go home, I know they won’t end up hating me for it. They know it’s not something I can control, and just knowing that makes me a little less anxious when I go out, because I know that they understand.
Failing was a big fear for me last semester. It was hard to motivate myself to do anything, and I felt like there was nothing that I enjoyed anymore. Making myself go to lectures was tough, but if I passed last semester with flying colours, I’m pretty sure I can do anything. My interest in writing is back, and the fact that three out of four of my housemates are in the same course as me means we can drag each other along to lectures. Or convince each other not to go, depends on the day I guess.
I’m not letting my mental health prevent me from enjoying college this year, and acknowledging my fears and realising that they’re irrational was the first step in doing that. This year is different in so many ways, and now is my chance to change things. I’m going to focus on the positives rather than the negatives, and make the best out of my time in UL. I’ll be okay.
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