At the end of high school and into college, I struggled with depression and anxiety mixed with my other health conditions. College is a new challenge on top of existing stressors, so luckily my parents stepped in. They decided to get me a miniature schnauzer to help me with my needs when attending college classes. From the second we began training my service dog, I instantly noticed a change in my everyday life.
Whenever I was feeling anxiety or depression I would pet my service dog and feel so much better about the situation. Having him around relaxed me. When I’d start to panic, his comfort would ground me.
Before I had my service dog, I would automatically catch an anxiety attack and not be able to complete any of my exams.
Imagine that: You aren’t able to perform the most important tasks during the college semester. The assignments that have a big impact on your final grade, and your ultimate GPA. These panic attacks lead me to do poorly on my exams, even though I had studied and known the answers to the questions.
It felt so unfair. But now, my service dog prevents this from happening.
Now I’m able to stay calm throughout my tests. No longer does my mind go blank or am I consumed by anxiety. The studying I have done to prepare was all worth it, and I’m able to show what I’ve truly learned.
My service dog has helped social life too. In the past, I’d avoid going to places that made me feel overwhelmed, such as places that didn’t have a handicap accessible placement. I’d be filled with anxiety, and end up avoiding these types of social outings.
Because of my service pup, I can have the social life I want and deserve.
Even though I still have anxiety or deal with depression and my health condition that sometimes get in the way of life, my service dog has changed my life. Having him has allowed me to push myself more to go out and be social.
I can enjoy college as any student should. I now enjoy the experiences of college life, like going to college parties, football games, dates, and much more.
Having a service dog has changed my outlook on the obstacles in my life. It’s given me hope that things can get better, and that I’m stronger than I thought I was. I now know I can overcome anything if I try.
My dog has allowed me to really come out of my shell when I needed to most. This furry little friend has taught me that with a little support, we can overcome anything.