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Anxiety Can’t Hamper Her Law School Ambitions

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Oriana Weatherington ’23 is ambitious. She is a member of Immaculata’s honors program and IU’s chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success. And not only is she double-majoring in business and human resources management, she’s also double-minoring in legal studies and entrepreneurship.

Weatherington strives for perfection. That’s usually a good thing, but sometimes she puts too much pressure on herself, which can cause anxiety and panic attacks. When she came to Immaculata, she brought an emotional support dog to help manage her anxiety. But last year, his health declined, and Weatherington saw herself slipping. “I got mad at myself, because I know I can do better,” she said. But when her dog passed away, she missed a final exam.

Immaculata’s disability services office helped her request extra time to make up her final. “All my professors had my back,” Weatherington said. “I never felt so loved by people who weren’t my family or my friends. They cared about my well-being. When I lost my best friend, Immaculata provided me with everything that I needed.”

Weatherington now has a new emotional support dog, and she uses various techniques to calm herself, like pretending she is swimming to slow her breathing. “I just prove to people [anxiety] doesn’t have to hold you back,” she said. “It’s OK to not be perfect. It just matters that you’re OK with it yourself.”

Weatherington doesn’t hesitate to share about her anxiety and befriend classmates with similar concerns. “I feel like the more I tell people about it, the more it could help somebody. Why keep it in when it could help somebody else learn about themselves?”

Weatherington loves to learn, both about herself and the subjects she studies in class. She loves to debate ideas with her friends and enjoys helping people, so she is pursuing a career as a lawyer, possibly specializing in corporate law. She appreciates hearing new ideas and perspectives from her political science professor, Joshua Weikert, Ph.D., who often begins class by asking his students what they’ve seen on the news and helping them understand current events.

Weikert has also helped Weatherington work out her post-graduation plans, sharing information about the LSAT and the law school application process and connecting her with a local corporate law practice that was seeking interns. Weatherington was accepted to the internship program, where she learned to gather sound background information from major legal platforms to support research materials she created. She also helped the owner of the law practice create a website to share her knowledge about the legal aspects of creating and maintaining a business.

“I see myself going way farther than I ever thought I would in life,” Weatherington said. “Immaculata made me realize a lot of things I can achieve that I didn’t think I could [and] a lot of things I didn’t know about myself.”

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