In the past year, I could count on one hand the number of times I didn't have a tight feeling in my chest.
I have had this feeling before, but it was leading up to certain events: a job interview, a big game.
Now, it is something that wakes me up.
As someone who is Type A, I made excuses for the change in my behavior — that this is how everyone else operates. Last year, I would do my homework a week before the deadlines, fold my laundry as soon as it came out of the dryer and meal prep every Sunday for the week ahead.
Now, I turn in assignments minutes before they are due, my laundry covers my bedroom floor and I couldn’t tell you the last time I cooked a home-cooked meal.
It took me a while to recognize my anxiety. I felt alone in how I was feeling initially. I am a student leader. I am supposed to be the example. I am supposed to have everything together.
But I didn't. It was in conversations with my team, my friends and my roommates, I realized that I am not alone.
I am not alone.
As a private person, this was hard at first. But as I talked to the people close to me, the tightness began to release.
It’s because of these conversations that I feel more comfortable talking about my mental health openly. A year ago I would not have written this column. This was hard and painful to write, but my hope is that it might begin a conversation for someone else.
Here’s to feeling the release.
— Erin Slowey, editor-in-chief