In high school, I had a group of friends that hung out probably every weekend. Being with each other was always fun, and it was rare that we ever got tired of each other. Of course, we saw each other here and there at school throughout the week, but we only had brief conversations. This was something I was used to for almost all of my high school years. As I transitioned from high school to college, the only worries I had were about the fast pace and heavy workload. I never once worried about the social aspect of college. Now that I’m in college, the social aspect has brought up anxieties I never knew I had.

In college, especially if you live on campus, there are people around you at all times of the day. For someone like me, that causes a lot of anxiety. I like to think of myself as an extrovert but only in doses. I love being around a lot of people, but I need time to myself to be able to decompress and keep myself sane. Being in college, I tend to get extremely overwhelmed by the hundreds of people surrounding me and constant loud noises every day. When I first started experiencing this kind of anxiety, I had no idea what to do. This kind of anxiety was something I had never dealt with before, considering that most of my life before college I could pretty much pick and choose when I wanted to be around a lot of people.

I struggled with this for most of my first semester of college and felt like there was no way of escaping the hustle and bustle of campus. Eventually, I decided I had to do something about this anxiety. After trying out several different ways to reduce my stress and anxiety, I finally found some things that worked for me. The first thing was setting aside 30 minutes of every day to just sit in silence, without my phone or anything. Doing this helped me so much because I wasn’t focused on scrolling through social media or school work. I was able to just relax. Another thing that helped me was working out. Trust me, I know working out can be terrible, but sometimes just running on the treadmill can release so much stress and anxiety. Lastly, I learned that it is okay to say no to hanging out with friends or going to a party.

It’s super easy to get caught up in your social life without even realizing it. If you’re anything like me, don’t be afraid to step away and take a breather. Ever since I’ve started implementing these traditions into my day, I have been way less stressed, and my anxiety is way more controlled.