Adulting, No Thanks
February 11-17, 2019
By Caitlin Smith
As I geared off for college, I prepped for the inevitable: boys, parties, and the abundance of peer pressure I’d be forced into. However, what wasn’t mentioned in the itinerary on move in day was the panic attacks that would come later down the line. One minute I’m walking to class and the next I’m waking up in the health center.
The first thing on my agenda was to join Spanish club because I for sure thought I was going to end up as a Spanish teacher. The first two semesters were a breeze. I was getting all the conjugations of ‘ir’ and ‘estar’ right. I even made a film speaking only Spanish. Then came Intermediate Spanish I, and it hit me that I wasn’t as good at Spanish as I thought.
Mid-terms rolled out and everything started to crumble. I was failing a language I knew nothing about. The night before a big Spanish test, I stayed up until 4 a.m. hoping to retain any bit of knowledge from that textbook. The next morning, I stressed myself out to the point where I fainted on the way to class.
The nurse explained I had a panic attack. According to Mayo Clinic, panic attacks are sudden episodes of intense fear that trigger severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause.
After I was sent back to my dorm, I took to the internet. It turns out I wasn’t the only one — the feeling that everything seems out of your control was totally common for college students.
I discovered some tactful ways of dealing with stress: I started journaling more often, I joined the student organization for mental health (yes, that’s a thing), and I scaled back on my social life. Focusing in on the things that would trigger my attacks were often brought on by the negative approaches I took.
Since my college days, I’ve learned that you must take things one step at a time. I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true. Life can be detrimental while trying to balance work, money, and family/friends all at once. Yes, adulting sucks but at least I’m adulting stress free.
Source: Mayo Clinic