CHLOE – Choosing Our Accessories Chapter

Chloe is a sophomore, double majoring in Art and Psychology at American University in Washington DC. Being the first generation to go to college in her family, she dealt with a bit of anxiety, overwhelm and even some “ocd” tendencies, which is now — thankfully — under control. She never felt particularly successful as a student and so going to college really exacerbated her sense of overwhelm. At times, her desire to do well academically even led to the occasional sense of panic.

While it’s normal to worry a bit, Chloe realized she was over-worrying. Like too much perfume or way too many accessories, these worries began to get excessive.

“Balance is so important,” she says, “as is avoiding excess in any one area.”

One area Chloe struggled with in particular was excessive scheduling. During her freshman year, she always felt like she should be doing something productive. In fact, she actually felt anxious whenever she didn’t have a school-related or goal-specific activity planned, which isn’t unusual.

She had to learn to recognize signs that she needed to step away from too much excess in one area. She learned to pay attention to how she felt when she considered various options and to her overall anxiety level. “To pull myself back from excess,” says Chloe, “I give myself permission to enjoy some time to myself.”

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