My hidden anxiety as a student
I know I am not alone in this one
Its always there somewhere hiding between the laughs, various conversations, meals, every workout, and every hangout. It is flowing in the back of my mind, no matter how much I try to repress it, it is still there.
When I read the latest headlines, claiming that the unemployment rate among young people in Sweden rose up to 15% in comparison to last year's rate being 11%, my anxiety got worse.
At the beginning of the pandemic, I was actually not aware of how it would affect me individually, I am sure we all thought that everything would go back to normal in a matter of weeks.
Since I was at the final spurt of my master's program, I only had my master's thesis left. So I had no compulsory lectures that would have been canceled or changed to digital lectures as it was the case for many other students. I felt lucky at first, but this feeling didn't last too long, as I began to have difficulty reaching out to my professors for help and guidance for my research. Since they were also dealing with the challenges of the pandemic, and trying to adapt to the situation without any clear guidelines.
No one was prepared for this.
I was not only facing difficulties in finding research materials, since my university library was closed, by following the public health authorities recommendations. Soon I was also facing financial pressure, as the coronavirus had not only forced me to buy the materials but it had also cost me my part-time job, reinforcing my anxiety and stress.
My very first thoughts were, What is my plan B? What if after graduation I won't be able to find a job? Will all the years spend in the university be for vain? These thoughts circulated my mind every day, causing me to lose motivation to continue with my remaining studies.
I felt all alone in my situation, I was struggling with hopelessness, loss of self-esteem, I saw myself being left alone in a world falling apart. All the struggles and successes I went through felt like nothing.
But in my struggle, I found my strength, during my darkest days I found myself reflecting on my journey, and the loneliness became an opportunity for me to talk to myself and self-reflect, to understand who I am and why I feel or do what I do.
One lesson that the coronavirus pandemic has taught us all is that nothing is certain, and we should always be prepared.
I cannot say that my mental health is in perfect shape, it might never be as life is full of surprises, but all I can say is I am learning and growing from my struggles.