“Breaking Expectations” is staff writer Danielle Allsop’s firsthand experience with living with mental illness.
“Time flies when you’re having fun” should be changed to “Time flies when you’re on break.” Why does the semester seem to drag on, yet Christmas and summer break fly by?
Though I feel well-rested, I know the feeling won’t last. I am not prepared to enter my final semester as an undergraduate.
I’ve already felt a spike in my anxiety just ordering my books. I stopped checking my mailbox so I wouldn’t have to deal with the fact that school is coming, whether I’m prepared or not (cue the “Jaws” theme song).
The first week back is always the worst. Your frustration might get the best of you. From experience, I know that most students with an ailment, including myself, won’t be the happiest campers for the first few weeks. But can you blame us? Parking, navigating your way through campus to figure out a timely routine, not to mention dodging bikers and groups of lethargic students carrying large coffees who seem to only walk in vertical lines, not letting anyone pass through, inevitably make getting to class a hassle.
However, you can take preventative measures in assuring that your anxiety doesn’t need to rise.
1. Get to class early. Find a seat where you’ll be comfortable for the entire semester. I always have to sit by the door. For whatever reason, knowing I’m closest to the exit always assures me that I can slip out the door if needed without having the entire class stare.
2. Know that lines will be long: in the bookstore, the financial aid office, anywhere you need assistance from a university employee, count on waiting. Have patience and remember that they’re also getting back into their routine. Give yourself extra time to complete these errands.
3. Take time to copy down due dates and important events in your agenda. If the professor hasn’t uploaded their syllabus to Blackboard, ask for a copy. Knowing ahead of time what assignments are due, and when, makes the entire semester easier to plan out and make the necessary adjustments.
Remember, you’re here because you want to better your future. Don’t let something like anxiety make college more difficult than it already is. Take time to enjoy the experience.