I was eighteen and I was going to the main campus at Penn State to start college. I really wanted to go to Penn State however the odds of me succeeding were against me. First, I knew that it was very hard for a freshman to pass all of their classes when they went to the main campus. I was smart but I wasn’t super smart like my friends who got A’s all the time.
This was also my first time away from home for more than a week. I was very close to my family and I knew that I would struggle with being home sick.
The odds of me succeeding were against me but something deep down inside told me that I had to give it my best shot. If I was going to fail, then I would have to give it my best.
The first week was tough but somehow I got by.
My classes were really difficult and making friends was difficult. I also missed my family. A month into my first semester, I felt ok however my fears and anxieties struck. If anyone experienced a lot of panic attacks, then you have an idea of how I felt. It was unbearable.
I determined that I would go to the local church to pray everyday before my classes. I also did a lot of exercise and spent some time with my friends which helped a lot. I also talked to a counselor and took it one day at a time.
There were times that my issues were unbearable but I had this feeling in the pit of my stomach that if I did not make it, I would let a lot people down. I don’t know what that was all about, but I had this feeling. I hung in there.
In time I became better at dealing with my fears and anxieties.
I was at Penn State for 5 years. My friends were very smart and they would study the night before and get A’s. I would study a week before and was happy I could just pass. My fears and anxieties would come and go every semester. There were no such thing as an easy class and my mental health and fears made each semester a challenge. I did a lot of praying when I was at Penn State.
By some miracle I graduated. I continued to deal with my fears and anxieties. I realized that I would always struggle with these things. A couple of years after I graduated I decided to write a book based on the techniques I used to manage my fears and anxieties.
I never discuss my fearful problems to my friends and people who know me. I try to live a regular life. My struggles will never go away. I am thankful that I can get by. I know many people who haven’t. I don’t look for sympathy.
One friend once made a comment to me that “I Have It Easy In Life” . If only they knew.
Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods” For additional information go to: http://www.managingfear.com/