I’ve always been very academic driven, but I realized last year that it was getting to the point where it was very unhealthy. In the moments when I’d get my grades back with an A, I felt so accomplished and proud of myself. I put all my time and energy into my classes yearning for A’s and that’s been one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made. The pressure I put on myself, the pace of the quarter system, the difficulty of my classes, being hundreds of miles away from my family, and secluding myself from social activities built up and left me struggling to cope with frequent anxiety attacks. Eventually the stress and anxiety kept me from sleeping at night, and I’d lay awake even more stressed out that I couldn’t sleep. It was at that point where I felt like my anxiety, stress, and self-imposed pressure became debilitating. I felt angry and frustrated with myself because I knew I wasn’t being healthy by being so obsessed with my grades. All those feelings, however, would go away as soon I’d get an A. It was a cycle of high stress, relief, and then even more stress and frustration. I recognized what I needed to do, but I struggled with accepting that I had these unreasonable expectations. As soon as the quarter was over or midterms finished, I felt okay again and ignored everything that had just happened by pretending I was fine. I shouldn’t have ignored my anxiety as much as I did, and I regret the stress I put my body under. I tried reaching out to counselors on campus, but I struggled to open up to strangers about my struggles with classes, being homesick, anxiety, and being confused about why I was so unhappy when college was supposed to be the time of my life. Trying to balance myself, decrease my expectations, and open up to making more friends is something I’m still working on and struggle with.
Anonymous, UC Davis student