Toronto Mike

What it's Like to Live with Anxiety: Tips for Students to Help Them Cope

When you leave home and go off to college, you are probably filled with a mix of anticipation and fear. It is hard to leave behind your support system of family and friends. You know you will experience new social situations at college and probably have to live with a roommate.

When you get there, the academic pressure may be more than you expect. It isn’t surprising that you may experience some anxiety. Anxiety in college students is common, especially in the first year.

Types of anxiety disorders

When anxiety starts to take over your life at school, and you can’t function normally, you need help. You may have a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) where you feel unrealistic worry and tension even when there’s nothing to trigger the feelings. If you have a panic disorder, you can experience panic attacks where you may even feel as though you’re experiencing a heart attack. You may try to avoid situations that may trigger a panic attack because of the intense symptoms you experience, such as pounding heart, chest pain and a feeling of choking.

Learning about your anxiety by reading books, articles etc., will help you to give your symptoms a name. It is possible to access anxiety essay topics for free online. You can read them to learn more about anxiety disorders, their symptoms and treatment. When you start understanding your thoughts and reactions, it reduces the power they have over you. Anxiety can make everything more challenging because it affects your focus. You may even need to reach out for help with writing an essay. You can’t think clearly or logically, and when you’re suffering from anxiety, personal essay writing can be hard for you.

Anxiety during the transition to college

Living away from home for the first time, managing your schedule and coursework load, facing social pressures and having to become more independent is challenging. The first year of college is an especially high-risk time for developing anxiety.

You may experience symptoms like sweating, shaking, blushing, shortness of breath, a racing heart and a churning stomach. You may fear being humiliated and try to avoid situations that make you feel these symptoms of anxiety.

Signs of an anxiety disorder

Stress is a part of life, and everyone experiences anxiety at times. It can even be necessary at times because it helps you to be aware of the danger and focus your attention so you can stay safe.

An anxiety disorder is about more than just feeling worried or nervous. The symptoms can be debilitating. You may feel uncontrollable worry, have cycles of negative thoughts and experience an inability to focus. Your eating habits may change, and you may start skipping classes. You may isolate yourself from your classmates and have difficulty sleeping or sleep too much.

What can worsen your anxiety?

If you are prone to anxiety, college can make it worse. As a student, you will probably pull some all-nighters and drink too much coffee. Drinking excessive caffeine and not getting enough sleep can increase your anxiety.

Loneliness is another factor that can make it worse. Spending too much time online and avoiding social contact can make you more anxious. Using alcohol or drugs to cope with your anxiety is obviously not a good idea. Neither is skipping class or staying in bed all day.

If anxiety is not treated, it can lead to extreme stress and even panic attacks. The earlier you recognize that you have a problem with anxiety, the sooner you can start to find the best treatment options for your situation and learn some coping mechanisms.


Colleges often offer mental health support to students via online chat, phone or drop-in sessions to make it easy to receive help. They are usually free or low-cost. Talking to a counselor about your anxiety could help you to find ways to cope with it. Therapists use various techniques, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, that can help with anxiety.


In some cases, you may need medication to treat your anxiety. A medical doctor or psychiatrist will have to complete an evaluation to decide if medication is necessary.


When it comes to college students and anxiety, many studies confirm that regular aerobic exercise can elevate and stabilize mood.

Natural remedies

Natural remedies for anxiety include good nutrition, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, yoga and attending a support group.


Students often experience anxiety when they are in college furthering their education. This may just be the normal kind of anxiety that comes with new experiences. If your anxious feelings don’t pass, happen often and stop you from doing what you want to do, it’s time to get help. Thankfully, therapy, medication and some changes to your lifestyle can effectively treat your anxiety.

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