When having an anxiety attack in college there will be some discrepancies between what you should do and what you will want to do. So if, say, you’re practicing piano and suddenly realize you’re shit because you haven’t touched it all week and your lesson is in ten minutes and the teacher is already mad at you, you’re going to have to decide which course of action you want to follow.

What you will want to do:

  • leave the situation immediately
  • run back to your dorm room while hyperventilating and mumbling to yourself
  • curl up in your bed with a carbonated beverage and cookies until the bad feels go away

What you should do:

  • Shut out any and all negative thoughts. We love to indulge in a little self hatred during these situations, but save it for when you’re watching Netflix. Right now you need to lie to yourself as much as necessary to get through the situation.
  • Do not leave. Running away will only make it that much worse when you have to face up to the situation. And you will. Force yourself to go on with whatever’s freaking you out, remembering that it’s never as bad as you think it will be.
  • Fake it till you make it. You may be melting away to nothing on the inside, but don’t let them know that. Obviously you should talk to someone about your struggles, but when you’re in a situation where you need to focus on a task your acting skills will be your best friend. Because if they believe you’re okay, you’ll start to believe it too. At least until you leave.

There are probably much better ways of dealing with stress than these, but this is what keeps me going. Just remember after you’ve majorly suppressed your emotions to give yourself time to cool off. If it’s possible take an hour or so to read a book or listen to music. Heck, even study. Just something so you can recover from the drainage you’ve just experienced. Because trust me, you don’t want to come out of a meeting with your department head about failing grades and immediately go to practice violin because you have a midterm in half an hour. Not fun. In that situation you down as many Tums as is safe and suffer the consequences in the form of a month long anxiety hangover.

 

Afterthought – Never say the music majors have it easy. Always respect your music education majors.

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