panic! at the exam

Hey friends! I’m going to be back at school soon, and if you’re like me, at the start of the year you set very neurotypical goals; aka the kind that I’ll never be able to achieve, because of anxiety, avoidance, executive dysfunction, etc. So here is a fairly miscellaneous list of the things I’ve done to prepare myself, which better take into account my mental health. I hope this helps some of you!

Organisation:

  • Have a self-care kit that you carry around in your schoolbag/have in your locker. I bought a medium-sized pencilcase (but use whatever you like/have on hand) for this, and that fits everything in there well. Inside I put: Hygiene items, like pads/tampons and hand-sanitiser (if you have anxiety/paranoia problems with germs, like me). First-aid/medication, like bandaids, over-the-counter painkillers (or   whatever painkiller you need if you have migraines/chronic pain etc), my asthma puffer and benzodiazepines (I had to get permission from my school to have my prescriptions with me, so check before you get suspended). Stress-relieving items, like a stressball, stim toys etc.
  • Of course, you can put whatever you want inside your self-care kit, and everyone’s needs will be different, so you do you!
  • I know people go on about this all the time, but having a bottle of water on you is actually really important! Make sure you’re drinking water throughout the day!
  • Make sure you have the supplies you need and you know where everything is, before the school morning. It can save you a lot of unneeded anxiousness.
  • If you want, get a padlock for your schoolbag (especially if you don’t have a locker). It might be helpful in reducing paranoia/anxiety.

Note-Taking/Completing Work:

  • Summarising is key! If your teacher gives you a set of notes to copy down, just copy down the important parts and you’ll be done sooner. This can be useful during minor brain fog, dissociation etc, but if you are having a much harder time concentrating, it’s okay if you don’t get all the notes. You can ask someone for them later, they won’t mind!
  • Also, another tip is to take a picture of the notes that you’re supposed to be copying (if you’re allowed your phone in class, or if you’re extra sneaky) and then copy them down at a better time.
  • I am basically addicted to highlighting. I find that highlighting makes things easier to read, and it helps me organise, so it’s easier when I go back and study
  • But most importantly, don’t beat yourself up over not completing everything. It’s going to happen, and it’s okay to accept that. Missing a few things won’t spell disaster. If you need to, take a break, and focus on your self-care.
  • Work on being able to seek help when needed. I’ve always had a lot of trouble with this, but being able to seek help from teachers when you need it improves your learning, and will help you complete both regular schoolwork and assignments better.

Assignments/Exams:

  • Make sure you have a schedule of when your assignments are due. Many schools hand them out at the start of term/semester, but if you don’t get one, see if you can find out the dates for all assignments from your teacher. Knowing when to start preparing can help you complete them, so don’t be afraid to ask!
  • Exams are scary for everyone. During exam season, make sure you’re practicing self-care techniques. Try your hardest to sleep and eat well.
  • Studying is important, but remember to put yourself first. If you need to take a break, take it. It can help you concentrate better. If you can, avoid all-nighters.
  • If you have a panic/anxiety attack, brain fog, or dissociate, etc during an exam, it’s obviously difficult to get out of the situation. If you can, leave to get a drink of water, and use some calming techniques. Everyone has different ways to pull themselves out of a potential breakdown, but a common one is grounding. If you can’t leave, close your eyes and focus on breathing.

This isn’t a very extensive list, but I hope that it can help some of you!

-Tey

SCHOOL STRESS

Hello. 😊

I made a ‘decision’ to actually starting posting my own post somewhat regularly, but after New year I was really beginning to stress out, because we didn’t get some results back for the longest time. But now I have less then two weeks to learn statistics, which is an exam I haven’t done in the first year, but I just can’t gent motivated enough and I am scarred that I will fail just one more time. And this year so far was pretty great, with just one major panic attack and I am quite proud of myself for that. No, you know what I am proud of myself for that, because I know I am smart, that I could do much more, but if I think back at how bad my anxiety panic attacks were, and how much progress I did myself, of course with the help of my parents, and my boyfriend. I want to make a promise here so I have to at least make an update for myself: I have to inform my self on the doctors list I have already prepared and make calls and arrangements so I can make even more progress and become more like myself, with my good school habits.’

In the last year I made so much progress. In my highschool years I closed myself off, I became depressed and had major anxiety/panic attacks and it was awful, but it was not all bad in the third year I found a great boyfriend (we are still together), and in the last year of HS I would say I started my journey to ‘heal’ myself.

I have to remember how much progress I made in this last few years, hell I am starting to be my old bookworm again, well almost…but I have to find strength in myself, for the last two exams, and then I will have a few days off and I am already quite excited for the new school term. For which I hope that all the classes will be interesting, with good and competent professors.

For anyone who has read till the end I congratulate you, because I think I just made an realisation, that I write just how I talk, which means that I wrote a lot, too much.


Katja 💎

P.s. Sorry for any mistake,as I am writing this, it is two in the morning.

P.s.s. Hope all your exams are going well and good luck. 😊

I WAS LIED TO

I WAS HORRIBLY LIED TO

THERE WERE A LOT LESS QUESTIONS ABOUT ANCIENT GREEK-ROMAN HISTORY THAN I WAS TOLD THERE’D BE

AND THEY WERE EASIER THAN THE PRACTICE QUESTIONS WE WERE GIVEN

ALL MY PANIC, FOR NOTHING!

in other words: I am out of the exam, I don’t know if I passed, but I know that I am anger
also thanks for the support from you guys, it means a lot ;o;

Twenty

I’m going to be twenty in two weeks and I still have no idea what I’m doing or where I belong in the world. Twenty is odd (and I don’t mean mathematically). Twenty feels like a deadline for something, but I no one has told me what the assignment is. Twenty feels exactly like that re-ocurring nightmare you had (or I’ve had, anyway) where you walk into class and your teacher gives you an exam and you’re wildly unprepared and you panic until you wake up. Like final exams have a time period, like projects have due dates, twenty feels like a due date for life. I think I know what I want to do with my career, or at the least I don’t worry about that part of the future. But it feels like I am expected to know something by twenty, in particular, to be emotionally mature, to be able to handle certain things. It feels like I’ve not accomplished that at all, and I have two weeks left. There is no professor, there is no classroom, there is no textbook. There isn’t even an assignment. But there’s the same feeling of a slow, creeping panic.

What’s worse is this time, even if you wake up from the nightmare, there’s not mom or dad to run to. There’s no one to rely on. There’s just you, in the dark, in bed, pretending you got over your fear of the dark back when you were twelve. We never really get over our fears–we just make them ordinary, and are able to deal with them. But now that “TWENTY” flashes like a bright neon sign in the distance, the dark is scary again, like back when you were twelve. You want to run to your parents, like you did when you were five. You want to run to someone. You are confused by boys and don’t know what to think about them, like when you were sixteen. You’re worried about your brother and your family, like you did when you were eleven, when every birthday until then you blew out candles with the exact same wish: stay together. After that you stopped really wishing for anything. You feel judged sometimes by the people around you, like when you were bullied at thirteen. You worry about your weight and your body, like you did when you were fourteen. 

How much progress did you make since then, really? I did well in school, I performed research and projects, I have a career plan, to many people I am considered very successful, and yet, I am still sixteen, fourteen, thirteen, twelve, eleven, five–going on twenty. Twenty approaches, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I close my eyes and think about a different place, with cows and honey and a river where people go to pray and where twenty doesn’t mean as much as it does here. 

I quietly wish. 

I just had a panic attack during an exam haha omg also I was late. My teacher looked so suspicious of my behavior. I am 99% sure I turned in my quiz with an exasperated “Deer in the headlights” look on my face trying to read his expression, I keep thinking he thinks I cheated or have cheated in the past? Maybe he thought I was high? He looked displeased with me, but I did good today in lab? ???????? I was a few minutes late but??

This girl is so tired! But I survived the last examweek of this year (okay I don’t now yet if I passed the exams, but I didn’t panic that much, so for me this week was great)
I know that I still need to learn so much and that I grow too slow to be succesful, but I’m making progress.
This girl is slowly growing into a more positive, happier, more confident girl that is able to talk in almost every situation (and that’s a miracle). (okay I sound very positive, but last week I said that I wanted to quit, so highs and lows enough) (I think I wasn’t as succesful and positive as I was this week when my best friends weren’t there for me and when my inspirations didn’t say all those motivational things to me the past week)

Trust Your Gut in the Exam and Don't Panic When You See Too Many "True" or "False"

So me and a friend had a History exam yesterday and after we handed it in, we discussed the “True and False” part and I told him that I wasn’t sure cause there were a lot of true answers but I put two false. He said he found them all to be true and none were false. I, of course, went “Impossible! I’m sure there must be at least one false, professors make traps like this!” And at the end of the class, the professor discussed the exam and in the true and false part… ALL OF THEM WERE TRUE AND I WAS STUPID ENOUGH TO FREAK OUT IN THE EXAM AND PUT TWO OF THEM FALSE INSTEAD OF TRUSTING MY GUT AND PUT ALL OF THEM FALSE. My friend went “holy shit!” And I literally screamed “say what?!” And we both laughed of course but I got salty after that cause this is the first time it happens to me and cause in my highschool the true and false NEVER had all of them true and I thought it was a trick. At least I only got two wrong and not four like another friend of ours lol. But if you studied and your gut tells you all of them are true, just do it.

I talked with my tutor this morning and they’re going to let me trial moving to the other Maths class and for that, I need to switch biology groups which is kinda annoying but we shall see how it goes. And then I completely forgot about having a maths exam of which I had a huge panic attack at the start and then just now, after walking out because the teacher isn’t even there and nobody is covering us so everyone has gone riot in loudness of volume.

So as I was walking out because the sub who told us what work to do let me go because I already did it on Wednesday, the girl who caused an issue with jump scaring a couple of weeks ago starts bitching about why I’m going and “what’s wrong now”.

Excuse fucking you.

I am allowed to be in a shit mood after my pulse is staying at a constant 130+ and not being able to breathe and the combination of that and your shitty attitude in general and being so stuck up your own butt, yes, things are allowed to go wrong and I am allowed to feel like shit but it’s not like you have the capacity in your tiny brain to understand that so there is no point in even talking to you.

The sooner they put my timetable change on the system, the better.