I wrote an article about how my social anxiety is nothing to romanticize:

I think I left somethings out that people with anxiety struggle with. I mentioned my personal social life and left out how hard going to class and work is.

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New Girl

Shows like New Girl make being quirky and awkward a lovable trait. Unlike Jess, I did not gain a ban of friends that love me despite my awkwardness. Instead, it is hard for me to participate in class even when I have questions or know the answer. Being in lecture halls are great because you blend in the class, but anxiety-inducing because there are more people who can realize that you exist.

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Going to work is torture

I don't hate people, but I do hate being around people for too long. Once I had work training from 8am-5pm then work from 6pm-10pm. I was having panic attacks starting the day before when I first realized how much time I would have to spend around people. My mind started spiraling and all I could think about was what if I have to talk to people? Or do something dumb! Or just the mere thought of people knowing I exist! All my jobs have been customer service jobs, so talking to people is in the description. This might seem odd, but for a student with no degree customer service is all you got.

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Only if...

I currently work as a desk assistant at my college. It is totally fine until someone calls the phone or come to the desk for help. I don't have a customer service persona like I see most of my colleagues have, My confusion and fear show on my face. I lack all confidence and conviction. I pretty much suck at my job. My nervous stutter isn't cute; my panic never seems funny; any the stress is killing me. I feel like I'm doing all the customers a disservice by working there, but it's better than my previous job at the dining hall. And all jobs involve some sort of human interaction.

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I have joined clubs during my one year in college. I am the secretary for the Black Educational Support Team and a writer for the yearbook. These were no easy feats. I had to be an interview for the secretary position and all through it, they assured me there was no need to be nervous (I never said I was nervous it was just written on my face). Their words were to no avail. Every yearbook meeting is a sweat-inducing 20 minutes because we have to say our pit and peach of the week. It feels like everyone else in the club got a memo I missed and I'm always a page behind.

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I feel like a failure in everything I do. I have self-sabotaged myself because of my anxiety. I have not gone for things I really wanted to do. Recently I learned how warped my mind really is and I now know I can't even trust my thoughts. This was a scary thing to realize, but I think it is the first step to self-help. Having anxiety has never helped me in any way, so I won't let it define me. I still have cringe attacks from things I did in high school and it ruins my experiences now. It's not cute, funny, or a character trait to romanticize. It is a constant struggle that I would love to get rid of, but don't know who I would be without it. It is scary and life-consuming, My social anxiety is many things, but it is not cute.