photo by Michael Hull

photo by Michael Hull

By: Chandler Kidd

I start my days out like every normal 20-year-old college girl: check my phone, wash my face, brush my teeth, and get ready for the day. I suppose normal college girls don’t have to bury anxiety with a cup of coffee and Lexapro, but I guess that is where I am different. 

I have always been an anxious ball of fun, honestly. I tend to worry about things that really don’t matter. I suffer from panic attacks and anxiety on a daily basis, which would make you think that I spend a majority of my day making excuses for my actions that have came from anxiety. But my anxiety is what drives me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do complain about my anxiety. It is the main cause for my arguments with any person I’m dating, for tension between close friends, and for my breakdowns over my schoolwork. The scariest part of coping with anxiety is that it is a factor into every questionable decision I make — sometimes I think making a questionable decision will shut the monster up. 

Anxiety is the scary guy in the dark alley, waiting to leap out and snatch you at your most vulnerable moment. It watches. Every. Second. Of. Every. Day. Anxiety is what holds me back from conquering the world, and allows me to start back at step one all the time. This is why anxiety drives me: it motivates my laziness and motivates me to make my future a better life — one without anxiety. Anxiety wants to see you do bad and worse, instead of good and better. Anxiety has forced me to constantly strive for the best, making myself better every day. 

Before I admitted to having anxiety, my thoughts were so clouded with depressing thoughts and poor decisions that I couldn’t see the beauty in rising from rock bottom. Anxiety pushes me to write, go to yoga, and do well in school. As weighed down as it can make me feel, it can also drive my success through the roof if I approach it in the right way. There is beauty in darkness; there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Don’t believe me? Anxiety brought me a scholarship from Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Media, it is the reason I went on a trip to NYC, it is the reason I cut my hair, and most importantly, it has shaped me into a better me. Anxiety has taught me that it is certainly not circumstances that define us, but it is the way we handle our circumstances.