First-Year Gains Attention for Blogging about Anxiety

Downs%2C+pictured+with+her+sister+Eliza.+Downs+started+a+blog+about+anxiety+over+Christmas+break+2015-2016.+Read+it+here%3A+nolitimeresite.wordpress.com
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First-Year Gains Attention for Blogging about Anxiety

Downs, pictured with her sister Eliza. Downs started a blog about anxiety over Christmas break 2015-2016. Read it here: nolitimeresite.wordpress.com

Downs, pictured with her sister Eliza. Downs started a blog about anxiety over Christmas break 2015-2016. Read it here: nolitimeresite.wordpress.com

Photo Courtesy of Adelaide Downs '19

Downs, pictured with her sister Eliza. Downs started a blog about anxiety over Christmas break 2015-2016. Read it here: nolitimeresite.wordpress.com

Photo Courtesy of Adelaide Downs '19

Photo Courtesy of Adelaide Downs '19

Downs, pictured with her sister Eliza. Downs started a blog about anxiety over Christmas break 2015-2016. Read it here: nolitimeresite.wordpress.com

Rachael Franchini ’19, Associate News Editor

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For Adelaide Downs ’19, the first year of college has been “half spectacular and half living hell.” Downs’ tumultuous first semester motivated her to create a blog about her anxiety, where she writes about how she copes with her disorder, her feelings towards her college experience, and hopes “to help people know that they’re not alone.”

In February, Downs’ blog gained a national audience when it was featured online in The Washington Post’s Answer Sheet. The site’s editor, Valerie Strauss, described the site as “A school survival guide for parents (and everyone else).”  According to Downs, Strauss became interested in Downs’ blog and reached out to her for an interview. The two emailed back and forth and exchanged pictures and information for the article.

“It was a lot easier than I thought it would be,” Downs says.  “It was something that I definitely didn’t think would happen from making the blog, but I’m really glad that it did.”

Downs started the blog over the winter break following her first semester at Dickinson.

“I mostly started it because [the fall 2015] semester was not easy…It’s that way for a lot of people and I wanted to help…I wanted people to know that anxiety doesn’t end you,” Downs shared.  “I had a lot of friends going through the same situations [and] I wanted my parents to get a clearer idea [of my anxiety].”

The blog is called “nolitimeresite,” because “noli timere” is Latin for “don’t’ be afraid” or “no fear.”  Her explanation for the name comes from poet Seamus Heaney, a poet Downs admires, who died in 2013.

“As [Heaney] was being taken to the hospital, he texted the Latin words to his wife right before he died,” Downs says.  “When it hit news, my dad called me and told me, and I liked what it stood for – he looked death in the face and knew he wasn’t going to make it, but he wasn’t scared.”

Other motivations for creating the blog include keeping the people at home up to date on her life.

“My parents’ friends like to know what’s going on… Also, it’s just fun.  I can write about anything I want to,” Downs states.  “It’s a nice medium for that.”

Visit Downs’ blog at nolitimeresite.wordpress.com.

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