I have dealt with anxiety since I was in high school. I’ve always been constantly anxious about having to talk to others, stand in front of an audience, and even doing something new. When I first started feeling this way, I felt messed up and I felt bad about myself (I later learned my anxiety is hereditary). It generally became worse as I aged, especially when I hit college.
Once my anxiety started to mess with my body physically rather than mentally, I made the decision to go on medication. I’m still fairly new to the whole thing, but at least my physical symptoms have vanished. I know eventually, I’ll feel okay.
However, I’m a Communication major. A Journalism and Public Relations major, to be exact. With social anxiety. That may not make sense to you.
You see, I love writing. I love communicating through the words I’ve written, yet I struggle to even get sentences out correctly when all eyes are on me. It’s not easy, especially with a fear of public speaking. And it’s definitely not easy when people ask me why I’m studying Communication when I can’t even interview someone.
I’m a Communication major because I love the other aspects of it. I love social media, editing articles, and discussing topics I’m familiar with. I’ve written papers on online friendships, music journalism, and even anxiety itself. However, once I have to interview someone for an article, give a presentation, or volunteer to speak up or give an opinion, I freeze. My hands shake. The anxiety comes running to my mind, telling me to stop right there because I can’t do it, not today.
Having anxiety is not cute. It’s not fun, it’s not adorable, it’s not sweet. It’s frustrating. It’s calling yourself ridiculous because you can’t go to the office to talk to someone, and then thinking about it for three days after. People get frustrated with me when I refuse to do something or make excuses. They think I’m unwilling or lazy.
That’s not it.
Having anxiety while being a Communication major is difficult. I have always aspired to be the girl who can walk up to anyone and start talking without feeling nervous. I could be the girl always willing to interview people and write articles, and I would have a bubbly personality that everyone would instantly love.
But that’s not me, because I’ll look arrogant or stupid when I act the way I do. Sometimes it’s not me, it’s the anxiety. You may see me talking in front of a class or hosting an event, and I never hesitate or look nervous. What you don’t know is that I had to psych myself up all day for that confidence.
I, unfortunately, will never be that girl I aspire to be. I’ve learned a lot since being in college, and I can now talk to people without being scared. I decided to be a Communication major in college because I hoped it would help me overcome my anxiety and learn how to be a good journalist and PR person. I’m still not fully over it, especially considering I’m now taking medicine. But I’m better.
Being a Communication major is absolutely never easy with anxiety. Sometimes I still wonder why I want to be in this field when I can’t talk to others. Communicating is tough sometimes. In order to do what I want to do in the future, which is to be a kickass music journalist, I need to improve my communication skills and learn how to win when anxiety tries to fight me.
This is why I study Communication. I may have anxiety and struggle to do what will undoubtedly become my future, but it’s all for a good reason. To all the other college students out there dealing with anxiety while also studying Communication: you’ve got this. I believe in you.