Don’t Forget The Students With Anxiety

Over the last few years, anxiety in college students has been on the rise. In 2013, The American Psychological Association determined that at least 41 percent of college students had an anxiety disorder. Studies from universities across the nation have determined that the percentage has increased to a calculated average of 53 percent. I am a part of that number.

If you had brought it up four years ago, I would have denied it. Shoved it down into the abyss of my emotions and told you I was fine. But yet the second you turned away, it would crawl back out of the abyss, and beat me with a big stick. So I ask you, please don’t forget about the students with anxiety.

If you are a professor reading this, something about it must have caught your attention, so I ask you to remember that there are people in your classroom that feel like their world is crashing down around them. The students that don’t jump to answer questions or lead the class in an intellectual discussion might be panicking and suffering inside. I ask you to remember that when you randomly call upon the student that hasn’t spoken up yet, the student that looks like they aren’t paying attention, you just might be the cause of a complicated, unstoppable panic attack. It sounds harsh and cruel and inconsiderate, but it is the unfortunate truth.

If you are a student, I ask you to be kind. Be kind to the people that are looking off into space and make themselves distant to you. They probably aren’t trying to come across as rude and standoffish, but they might be utterly terrified of initiating conversation with you. Do not be quick to judge someone, take the time to try and understand why. Why they look distant and maybe a little judgmental, because you might find that they have the most to say. An action as simple as asking for their opinion might make you a friend for life.

And finally, if you are someone that is a part of the number, someone like me, I ask you -- no, I beg you, to remember that you are not the only one. The person sitting next to you might be feeling the same. You are not a problem that needs to be fixed. For whatever it is worth, I applaud you for making it here. For pushing past the anxiety of yesterday, so you could experience today. Don’t ever forget that there are other students walking among you that are struggling too.

I ask you to always remember that you are not alone.

By: Cameron Etayo


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