By KENNEDY ROYAL
Kaitlyn Wade, a freshman at Amarillo College, said that last semester, anxiety was her greatest obstacle.
The nursing major said she often felt too anxious to eat regular meals, complete her class work or handle many basic aspects of daily life.
Wade said she wouldn’t eat for days, sometimes as many as three days at a time. “I promise I’m not starving myself. I’m just not hungry, and if I eat, I feel like I’m going to throw up.”
Now as spring semester gets underway, the Randall High School graduate is working to overcome her anxiety and end the mental and physical toll it has taken on her life.
“I just needed to find a rhythm for that for college – and I’m starting to,” she said.
Wade said she believes her issues with anxiety stem from the deaths of more than two dozen friends and family members over the course of her lifetime. The 20-year-old said these losses left her feeling abandoned by her loved ones, including her grandmother.
“I know she passed away, but it just felt like she left,” Wade said.
She said the many losses have left her with doubt, guilt and low self-esteem. “I’ve just lost like so many people, relationship wise, and they always made me feel like it was my fault.”
Starting college in the midst of a pandemic fueled Wade’s anxiety. She said that she felt paralyzed by a lack of motivation and dropped several classes without telling her parents. Wade knew her parents were had noticed something wasn’t right.
Wade’s parents grew increasingly concerned as they watched their daughter struggling. She was taking classes at AC, working full time at Roasters and was responsible for paying for her education, her car and her pets and was planning to take over her phone bill. Wade said she realized that something had to give.
That’s when she slowly began to tackle her anxiety and move forward.
“When she makes up her mind, her mind is pretty much made up,” Wes Wade, her father, said.
With a new semester starting, Wade said she is focusing on her natural competitiveness, which has helped with her anxiety over school, relationship problems and financial struggles. The former soccer player said she has always loved competing and setting goals.
Wade’s long-term goals include traveling the world and becoming a pediatric oncologist. She said she wants to move out of her parents’ home and become more self-sufficient. Her short-term goals are “to not drop any classes, to stay motivated and to actually finish my classes with good grades.”