After the sessions, I continued the weekly exercises. I still felt anxiety, but nowhere near as strongly as before. Classes started back up for me in July, and going in, I felt that usual nervousness of not knowing anyone… However, I knew I was now armed with the confidence that I can approach and talk to people regardless of that anxiety, and it will die down eventually. I asked questions in class, did very well on projects and quizzes, and classmates would start approaching me for help. I made my first 3 friends in college in that class, and two years later, they are still among my best friends.
After that summer session, I had two weeks between summer and fall, so my friend and I embarked on an epic Eurotrip. The things that happened then are worth a novel of it’s own. It was all about exposure, facing my fears, doing things I’ve never done before. I had my first ‘female encounter’ in France(I never did anything with my first girlfriend… too anxious), I rowed a boat in the Versailles, I smoked my first high in Amsterdam, I bought my first painting in the Van Gogh (well, a replica, ‘ Wheatfield with Crows’) museum, I got mugged in the Red Light District, I got wasted in Hamburg, Germany, and I had to steal food and drinks since that city didn’t accept my credit card. Lastly, I faced my fear of heights by Paragliding and bungee jumping off a 300 foot canyon in Switzerland.
When I came back to the US, I searched my mind, and I noticed something. Peace. I had no insecurities, no worries, no anxieties floating through my mind. Just peace. For the first time in my life, I was living in the moment, and loving every second of it.
Read here for the full story [here].