I have struggled with fear and anxiety for over 20 years and there were many times I felt like giving up.
Since I was young, I have always struggled with fear and anxiety which led me to seek help from a counselor. It got worse when I started college at Penn State in 1990.
During these times, my anxieties and fears were so powerful that I had trouble getting through each day and I didn’t know what to do. I would get very anxious about taking exams during midterms and taking finals at the end of the semester. Each exam was worth 30 percent of your grade and if you messed up on one exam, you could easily fail the class. As a result, you would have to retake the class. Many classes were very difficult which caused my anxious feelings to flare even more. I had to manage my studies and deal with my mental health issues at the same time. I had to write tons of essays with in-depth research for every class I took. I would also get anxious whenever my studies got overwhelming during exam week and I would get fearful thoughts that would make it hard to get through each day. The fearful thoughts would create more anxiety and I would get into a vicious cycle of worry and fear. I worked with professionals to learn from my past experiences in dealing with anxiety and they recommended that I use exercise as a coping mechanism. I used this advice to support me in getting out of these cycles.