Author: Emily DeGenova, Senior in HMS
When did we get old? How are we 22 years-old on the brink of graduating college? What happened to our youth, having sleepovers, and relying on your mom for everything? What does this mean for our future?
When I think about my last year as an undergraduate I feel overwhelmed with emotions:
- I feel incredibly proud of myself having survived these past 4 years in one piece.
- I am grateful for the amazing memories I’ve made and opportunities I’ve been given.
- I am filled with excitement to embark on a new journey into my future career and passions
However, all the while, I feel like am I drowning in anxiety, fear, and self-doubt over what the future holds. I am also feeling a sense of deja-vu, as I remember feeling this exact way my senior year of high-school. At 18 years-old I was worried about making new friends, moving away, what college would be like, if I would be happy, and if this was something I was ready for. However, I survived didn’t I? And not only did I survive, but I killed it! Therefore, why am I entertaining these new, yet similar, anxieties at this point in my life? Why does this feel different? And most importantly, what do I do about it?
After some much needed reflection I came up with some personal steps I am setting for myself to avoid letting my anxiety, fear and self-doubts control me. Additionally, I hope these steps can help another fellow Duquesne student:
- Breathe. Just breathe, everything will be okay.
- Believe in yourself and think positively. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? Speak your success into existence by trusting who you are to bring you there. Creating positivity starts with thinking and talking about yourself positively.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. This is your life. You are great and you will do great things. Let other’s successes motivate you to follow your passion, not bring you down. Additionally, people present the best versions of themselves to the world. Therefore, someone else’s reality may not appear as perfect as you think.
- Talk to your friends and understand you a not alone. Your friends are probably feeling the same way, or can at least relate to your situation and offer some advice. Sometimes venting aimlessly to your friends helps you clear your head, realize you aren’t crazy, and move on.
- Do something productive. I think this is the most important step. I can’t tell you how many times I have spent more time stressing over an exam, rather than simply sitting down a studying for it. Therefore, taking even 30 minutes to tackle some part of your stresses will help relieve some anxiety.
- Take a break. Don’t work yourself into exhaustion or another anxiety attack. Instead, you can make some dinner, call your family, read a book, and relax.
By following these 6 simple steps, I will stay on track to graduate this spring with a competitive GPA, study for and score a personal high on my GRE, and attend a great graduate school next fall. But for now I’m probably going to call my mom because I need to vent my anxieties away – I guess you could say step 4 as going smoothly.