It was 9 pm on Thursday night. I had what looked like 20 syllabi layed out on my desk in front of me. I could feel myself shaking out of anxiety as I tried to figure out where to go from here.
I had just started my first week of University after being homeschooled my entire life up until that point. I was overwhelmed, worried, and tried. To top that off, I knew it was only going to get harder from here. I was dealing with some emotions that I knew I would need to understand (not stop feeling or shut down emotionally) if I was going to get through and thrive in this season of life.
I was ANXIOUS. BIG TIME.
Will the professor like me? Will I get the grades I wanted? Will I find friends? What if I fail at this? What if I keep failing at this?
Whether your in highschool, University, Collage, or something else, anxiety seems to find it's way into our hearts in these seasons. Because of this, I wanted to reflect on my time at university, as well as, bring forward some things to remember if your dealing with anxiety at school.
I remember the absolute dread I would feel as I would turn over my marked essay/test to see the grade. This was it, either jubilation or depression. Either my work was validated or tossed to the ground to wallow in the dirt where it belonged... Ok, maybe I'm getting a bit dramatic, but hopefully you can relate to a degree.
We often let grades rule our mood, attitude, and motivation. We let grades define us, give us identity, and give us worth in some sense. If I got an A, I was great and I felt like that gave me license to by happy and joyful. If I got a B, that was fine, but nothing to celebrate. If I got a C or D, END OF MY LIFE. How could I even show my face at school?
I let grades rule my time at University, it SUCKED.
Many of us stress about the grade, let the grades rule our mood, define us, and cause us anxiety. I just want to encourage you with what I would tell myself (warning: It's kinda cheesy, but sometimes we need that!)
You are NOT your grades, your grades do not define you as a person.
Your worth is NOT found in your grade or performance, you are a child of God and because of that you worth is based on who God is, NOT what you do.
You are KNOWN by God fully, LOVED by Him perfectly, and ACCEPTED by Him.
This won't cure your anxiety in this area, but I truly believe the more we seek God's perspective and heart on these things, the more our lives will be transformed.
To go back to the story I was telling earlier, I was OVERWHELMED and I felt like I would drown underneath the assignments, papers, and exceptions. I knew I needed to do something. So I pulled out may calendar and scheduled in every assignment, test, a paper due date.
OK, I could breathe a little easier now. At least, I could see what I needed to do in organized fashion. Then I made a To Do List to make note what things were most urgent.
I literally felt lighter after I did this. I encourage you to do this too!
For me, one of the most anxiety producing times where when something would be due very soon that I hadn't done/finished. That's part of the reason I NEVER put any off.
I'm not joking, I did all my assignments, homework, papers, as soon as I could. Not because I was some kind of super student, but because I didn't want to experience the soul cruising experience of not being on time for an assignment.
DON'T PROCRASTINATE! You'll thank yourself in the future and I really think this well help if your having anxiety in this area.
Of course, they'll be times when time is just to tight and you have to turn things in late, don't worry about it! I just don't want you to cause yourself unnecessary stress.
Do your best, but remember this isn't the extent of your life. Don't let school consume you, be intentional to set boundaries like; no studying past this time. Also, remember to schedule in things you enjoy, it's the little things that will help you stay in the right head space.
Hope this was helpful! Let me know how you deal with Anxiety at school :)