University is meant to be the best three (or four) years of your life, when you’re young, wild and carefree.

Unless you suffer from anxiety, eating away at you every chance it gets. How is it possible to get through university with anxiety looming over you? Is it even possible?

Of course it’s possible, but by no means easy. It’s possible only if you believe in yourself. Which, by the way, is step one in getting through university anxiety.

 

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.

 

When you feel like you’re not making enough friends, or that the workload is increasing so much you feel as though you’re drowning in it, the key is to believe in yourself. A concept to remember is manifestation, or in other words, the Law of Attraction. The concept summarises that we can speak things into existence. Tell yourself, at least once a day that you can do it, that you believe in yourself and that nothing can bring you down. All that’s left is to watch your mind begin to believe it.

 

But if the Law of Attraction is not a realistic concept for you, there are other methods to help you believe in yourself, methods that will move us along to the next step:

 

Set short term goals for yourself. Why? That feeling of relief and pride you’ll get when you can tick them off.

  • Monday: Go to my lecture. Check.
  • Tuesday: Go the library for one hour and finish catching up on that lecture. Check.
  • Sunday: Pick up textbook from my friend. Check.

Ahh, relief. I’ve done everything I needed to today. Imagine that feeling, but every day. Setting short term goals will increase your organisation, which will be a huge help especially when you’re feeling snowed under with so much to do, and you don’t know where to start. And once you’re organised, your life can only go uphill from there. So what are you waiting for? Go out and buy a cheap planner or notebook, so you can begin to control that anxiety that’s been controlling you.

 

So, what’s next? Get some fresh air, every day. One thing we’ve learnt from being at university is that it’s not healthy to be cooped up in your room all day every day. Make it a habit to go outside for a walk at least once every day (and yes, going to uni or going to see friends does count, as long as it means you’re spending some time outside). Getting fresh air will help to make you feel more awake and motivated as well, which will encourage you to be productive during the day. Whether it’s studying, or spending time with friends.

 

Spend time with others. Whether that means sitting with your friends in lectures, or at their flat, joining societies or even going to the gym, you’ll see a huge change in your anxiety when you spend time with people doing different things. Don’t be afraid to have friends everywhere, because different people can teach you different things and provide you with unique experiences. Although, to control your anxiety, you don’t have to be constantly surrounded by people. Remember, it’s good to be alone, but not good to be lonely. So the next time you see a poster for an event, or a fellow gym-goer on the bus, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. You’ll realise that you’ll laugh more and feel more uplifted when you’re around different people, doing different things.

 

These are just a few tips to help you manage the anxiety that might be threatening to take over your life. They may work for some, and they may not for others, but the best advice would be to at least try. You never know if that one walk to get some fresh air will result in you bumping into someone who will become a friend for life. Or voicing your opinion at that society meeting will make you feel more alive and confident, not to mention help you find someone with similar interests!

 

As bad as anxiety makes you feel, it’s imperative that you don’t let it take over your life. Take control and believe in yourself. Trust that you are made of so much more than anxiety.

 

Text by Saneaah Muhammad

Picture research by Donna Darafshian; featured image from societysix.