Hi tumblr. It’s been a while.
It’s finals week, as I’m sure you can deduce from the time of year and whatnot. I have a finals story to tell.
I had my chemistry final this morning at 9AM. The material for this exam is especially challenging for me but I did a good job studying and really felt I had it under control, walked into the exam room feeling like I was going to CRUSH THIS EXAM *FEROCIOUS GRUNTING HURGHAH*
So I sit down. And I begin taking the exam. And I look at the first problem. Get stuck. Second problem. Get stuck. Third. Fourth. I know I can do all of these problems but for some reason the actual writing on the page is getting really blurry so I go back to page one and decide to number atoms to get going. Funny thing is that I can’t seem to write the numbers legibly and I see that my palm is soaked with sweat and I am shaking and when I go to take a breath my chest is tight and I feel like I am going to vomit and then I see black dots on the page. I give one last attempt at drawing a carbonyl and can’t draw it because now I am hyperventilating and can’t actually focus my eyes onto the page and it takes this long for my brain to figure out that I am having a panic attack. I am having a panic attack. What do I do what do I do what do I do
SOMEHOW I managed to get up from my seat and calmly (???? how did i manage so act calmly?????) told the GSI that I was having a panic attack and left the room. He came out after me and said that it was totally okay and this has happened to others before and that I can take the exam whenever I want and to just take a minute. At this point I was bawling and hyperventilating and the crying felt really good because I could breathe again but I the only real things I managed to say were “I can’t take an exam when I can’t breathe” and “I promise I’m not cheating” and “thank you for understanding”. He went back in to keep proctoring and I sat outside crying and breathing for a while, some dude asked me if I was okay and I said yes while still crying and he told me that “whatever it is, I’m sure it’s not worth it”.
GSI comes outside again, says that I can go back into the testing room and keep taking it if I want, or that I can take it at 10 somewhere else. I choose the second option and begin to calm down. He asks if I wanted to go outside and see if the cold air would help me out (I should have taken him up on that one) but I just asked if I could use my phone and then I called my mom.
The exam is over for the rest of the class, I go back inside and GSI says that I can take it in his lab’s break room. Walked upstairs, sit down, take a deep breath, begin the exam once again. Somewhere in those 40ish minutes of panic… my brain fixed itself and I could actually THINK and solve the mechanisms. Problem 2: done. Problem 3: done. Problem 4, 5, and back to 1 (the hardest one): done, done, done. I FINISHED EARLY AND HAD TIME TO CHECK MY ANSWERS (this never happens on mechanisms exams). I CORRECTED DUMB MISTAKES THAT MY PANICKED SELF HAD SCRIBBLED DOWN. I THINK I DID OKAY, MAYBE EVEN WELL.
So that was the story of how I had my first real panic attack during an exam. Now I am exhausted and feel sick to my stomach, but it’s all good because I managed to conquer the thing that made me panic in the first place.