July 17th, 2017
At 10:30 am, on May 13th, 2014, I walked across the stage in Clune Arena, officially becoming a high school graduate. At this point in their lives, many would say high school was the “best time of their lives”, however, I begged to differ. I have always lived with anxiety, however, it was not until my senior year in high school that I realized what I was feeling, and that I needed to figure out a way to overcome it.
Avoiding the blood pressure rises and chewed finger nails of my mental distress, I proceeded to attending the University of Colorado at Boulder. I moved into my dorm on August 26th, 2014. College felt like a new start for me- new city, new classmates, and a clean slate. I anticipated this would be a positive thing for me, however, the anxiety creeped in slowly but surely. I went about my average day- attending class and doing homework at Norlin, however, it was only a matter of time before I felt “left” out as a result of my antisocial removal.
I wasn’t going back. I finished my microeconomics final at 5:48 pm on Tuesday December 16th, and leapt into my mother’s car as she awaited outside of my dorm. I had all of my stuff ready and packed, forgetting to even say “Merry Christmas” to my roommate Katie. I was so anxious to be home with my family, worry free with not a responsibility in the world. As delightful and warming it was to be back at home, the 3 weeks of winter break flew by, and I found myself back in my mother’s Toyota Camry before I knew it. Avoiding the dismissal of my comfort, I attempted to hold back the tears as I waved my mom goodbye- it was going to be a long, hard semester.
12 hours. I made it 12 hours back in my dorm before I had an anxiety attack. After my mother dropped me off, I started feeling so anxious about the discomfort of the environment I was in, and “home sick” crept over, although it’s only a mere 2 hours to our suburban sanctuary. In desperate search of emotional relief, I convinced one of my sorority sisters to let me borrow her car to drive home. As I zoomed through Denver rush hour, I arrived at my parent’s door stop with tears rolling down my eyes- can I do this?
Commuting back and forth from my parent’s house to classes in Boulder, stopping occasionally to grab something from my very expensive Boulder storage unit, aka my dorm room, I realized I had to figure this out. I was a confident, intelligent woman and didn’t realize why this discomfort overcame me whenever I was away from my home town. I hated high school, yet I couldn’t stand being in Boulder away from my family. What is going on? During that semester, I took a sociology class which spoke all about “mindfulness” and “anxiety disorders”. As I entered this class in hopes to fulfill an Arts & Science core elective, I soon realized this class would be even more beneficial.
Namaste. As cliché as it may seem, I found myself searching for techniques to alleviate this new found anxiety disorder of mine- and yoga was the answer. During the duration of my sociology course, I noticed many of the themes we discussed happened to be exactly how I felt. I talked with my mom, and researched anxiety and techniques to cope with anxiety, and found yoga to be the most popular answer on web forums and medical journals. Due to this common theme, I thought- why not give it a shot?
Whether it have been the pure relaxation or the meditation of yoga, it alleviated so much of my stress and I saw myself become a whole and confident person. My anxiety dissipated, and I no longer consumed the world’s most costly storage unit, as I moved back into my dorm and was able to successfully become at peace and consume happiness in Boulder.
As I sit on my patio drinking Sangria with my sorority sisters, I announce I am officially graduating in 3 & a half years in December 2017. We all had such a heart warming moment as we acknowledge how far I’ve come with my anxiety, and how grateful we ever were to meet each other. Now whether it have been The Curse of Boulder Valley or just your common clinical anxiety in today’s millennial generation, I am proud of myself to have overcame it and develop into the passionate and driven person I am today.