On The Trinity Perspective, you will find those answers—or at least someone who asked the same questions. We have been in your shoes. The Trinity Perspective collects advice and stories from current students, parents, faculty, and alumni to share with you—prospective students, families, and the Trinity community.

Tackling Anxiety in College

By Briauna Barrera
Briauna Barrera '17
Outdoorswoman & Slam Poet

As you begin your transition into college, or return for the new school year, you may be more than familiar with anxiety. We don't talk about it much regarding the college transition, but anxiety is commonplace and more likely than not, you can easily find someone who relates to you if you suffer from it. However, it doesn’t always feel that way. In the midst of anxiety, it is incredibly easy to forget that you are not alone. It is easy to forget that you have people who care about you, or you forget that there are institutions in place that can help you manage your anxiety. Sometimes you forget everything except the panic and the fear that are consuming you.

I know, I’ve been there. Often.

"Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health problems on college campuses. Forty million U.S. adults suffer from an anxiety disorder, and 75 percent of them experience their first episode of anxiety by age 22."

I’ve always been somewhat of an anxious person. Ever the worrier, disliker of unnecessary risks, and fearful of something that I could never quite articulate. When I got to college, my anxiety only worsened. Even though I was excited to begin my college career at Trinity, the transition was hard, like it is for many people. I had my first panic attack and then my second and then my third. I thought I was weak. I thought I was defective because everyone around me appeared to be dealing with life just fine and I was unravelling at the seams.

Eventually (and thankfully), I got help. I started attending counseling the second semester of my first year at Trinity University, which I continue to attend. This is personal information, but I am talking about it because there is no shame in having anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or any other type of mental disorder.

For the longest time, I continued to think I was weak. I told myself time and time again that I just needed to get over my insignificant problems and stop being pathetic.

Yet, berating myself with these kinds of thoughts didn’t help, if anything they only hurt me more. During my time in counseling, I’ve gained awareness of my unhelpful cognitive habits and I’ve learned constructive ways to try and correct them. I’m still learning and at times, I struggle, but it's better than the alternative of letting my anxiety consume me.
It's a hard journey, but a necessary one.

If any of my story resonated with you, I'd suggest you look into Counseling Services here at Trinity. Their office is on the second floor of the Halsell Center in Suite 201 and their walk-in hours are from 3:00 to 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday and by appointment (Walk-ins are for new clients only).

In addition to counseling, I recommend getting enough sleep, regularly exercising, and eating healthy-- they really do help. They're may seem like little things, but they make a huge impact on your overall well-being.

You're not weak because you have a mental disorder and neither is asking for help.

You deserve to be happy and have peace of mind. We all do.

For more information about Trinity University’s new centers, including the Center for Student Success that unites counseling, ability, and other student services, click here. For more information from our Student Success Team on what to do if you have concerns about yourself or another student, click here.

About Briauna Barrera
Briauna is currently a junior, who is double majoring in Environmental Studies and Urban Studies and minoring in Creative Writing. She works as a trip leader for OREC and is the community garden director. In her free time, Briauna enjoys reading, petting animals, gardening, and daydreaming about having superpowers.


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