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Senior column: All my life, I was told, “it will get better”

Photo by Anna Brandon.

I listened and took the advice I was given as much as I could handle. Handling anxiety throughout high school was a roller coaster, and I thought it would be better in college. But entering community college, I wasn’t sure what I would expect; I expected nothing.

Community college was an easy start because it’s cheap and I was still close to home. In addition, I was handling a part-time job, homework and personal responsibilities. However, majoring in communications and developing a “voice” made a few things better to deal with.

Like anxiety. 

After my two years in community college, I overcame the anxiety I had dealt with from high school through community college by standing up in front of peers and older age groups for my presentations. Although it wasn’t easy, I was able to do it.

Then a fallback occurred in the autumn of 2020. 

It was officially time for Bradley University, a bigger school. More people and the pandemic came aboard. For the past two years, the world has taken numerous actions to respond to the pandemic with social distancing and face masks. As a result, Bradley had to change a few restrictions for the staff and students.

Bradley made my anxiety run through the roof, and it was scary. As a junior coming to a bigger school, I had no friends other than my roommates, like a freshman. I was an awkward human. It doesn’t help that everything was socially distanced, so I was “breaking” rules even if I tried.

In each class I had, I had the chance to meet new people and build different relationships with my professors and other students. Fortunately, after the two years that I have spent as a part of Bradley, I have gained the best experience that I didn’t think I would have. Writing for different organizations, helping produce BUTV and meeting amazing people that I would like to think I will be friends with for a while have made my time at Bradley.

After coming back to a full, less restrictive year and having more of my own experiences, my anxiety slowed down and I have been able to work on my own life without the pattering heartbeat.

As a senior and getting ready to depart from school and join real life, I can happily say that I am. Not. Ready.

Leaving school and having to find a good job is terrifying. I have no clue what I am doing. Am I staying in Peoria, or will I go back to Quincy or the possibility of packing it all out of Illinois? Despite all the experiences that I have had and still gaining, I am still having difficulty finding the correct path I want to pursue.

One more month of living in St. James, being up until four in the morning and working on six papers in a week ​​— it’s crazy how fast this all goes by. But, even though I have no idea where I will be in a month, I know it will take time to figure it out.



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