12 Ways To Cope With Anxiety In Class

12 Ways To Help Reduce Your Anxiety In Class

Some helpful tips.


Within the last year, I have developed a really bad case of anxiety. I would just be sitting in class when a panic attack would overtake me. I would start to sweat, my heart would race, and there would be a pressure in my chest. It felt like I was having a heart attack every time they happened. The would only happen in one class and all week I would dread that class. I wouldn't know how to stop or prevent them. I would stare at the clock every five minutes and pray the professor would let us out early. I would occasionally get them while driving and they have resurfaced this semester too.

But I have a better grip on them now, and I feel a thousand times better. Here are some techniques I use to reduce my anxiety and prevent panic attacks from escalating.

1. Tap your foot

When I tap my foot, it reminds me that I'm doing fine, and it calms me down. I'm always scared that I'm going to faint when I have a panic attack and continuously tapping my foot grounds me. It reminds me that I'm OK and everything is fine.

2. Take frequent water breaks

Moving a little to get your water bottle, and physically drinking from it reminds your body that it's fine. Plus, you'll be focusing on opening your bottle and taking small sips that the panic will subside for little. It will also cool you down if you feel hot.

3. Focus on one thing in the classroom

Pushing all of your attention on someone's brightly colored shirt, or someone putting their hair up in a ponytail will force you to focus intently on something for a moment. This will help you relax and get that heart rate down a little. Take your time from looking from student-to-student-to-the-professor. Doing this will allow you to go slow and take a minute to recollect yourself.

4. Take deep breaths

When panic seizes your body, your breaths get shallow and don't fully reach your lungs. Taking deep breaths will release the pressure in your chest and help your heart beat slower. It is also a great calming technique.

5. Doodle in your notebook

Making little doodles in your notebook will take your attention off the panic and anxiety that has consumed you and you will focus on drawing. This can calm your nerves and give you something to do during a boring lecture.

6. Remind yourself that everything's fine

Giving yourself a little reminder that you're OK can everything's fine, really helps me. I will look at the other students in the class and see that they're perfectly content and calm on the outside, and it motivates me to calm down and relax.

7. Keep a headphone in and quietly play music

I did this last semester. It makes me feel like a bad student, but if the music is quiet enough, you can still hear the professor's lecture and the lyrics. This one helped me really well, too. Having the lyrics to focus on took my mind off my panic attacks and there were able to subside.

8. Clear your mind

This one can be a little harder. It takes a lot of mental strength to fully clear your mind. But I suggest, not thinking about everything you need to get done that day, or week, because that will just stress you out more. I'm guilty of doing this when I'm panicking, but I have gotten in the habit of not doing it. A clear mind is a stress-free mind.

9. Try to only focus on the class

Listening to every word the professor says will force you to only think about the class and material. You'll be too busy thinking about the class, that your anxiety will be off your mind. You will thank yourself later for this one.

10. Change your seating position

Moving a couple inches might not seem like it'll do much, but it actually helps a lot. Scooting up or lower in your seat is like a little refresher for your mind. It recharges it and you're good to go for a little bit. I do this at least four times during a big lecture hall.

11. Remember that it will only last for a moment

Telling yourself that it'll be over before you know it actually helps. It reminds you that this anxiety will end, and you can carry on with your day. It may feel like it happens over the course of ten or twenty minutes, but it's only for one or two. And that is totally doable.

12. Tell yourself about that nap after class is over

When you go through a panic attack, it drains you. You lose all of your energy and you feel like you could just pass out right there in the class. Reward yourself for going through that panic with a well-deserved nap.

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I Learned Forensic Science In One Day For HOSA SLC 2019 And Still Placed Top Ten

We all have those days where we have to cram for an exam you know nothing about the night before, but have you tried to study for it the day of the exam? I never knew I would find myself in this situation until I went to HOSA SLC. With minimal study time, my partner, Kasey Park, and I were still able to place in the Top Ten in Georgia.

Joel Lee
Joel Lee

As a member of my school's chapter of HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America), I went to SLC (State Leadership Conference), where members all over the state of Georgia come to Atlanta to compete in a variety of competitions in the field of Science and Healthcare. All members can pick only one competition to participate in, and the guidelines and rules for each event are posted on the HOSA website.

The event I chose was Forensic Medicine, which requires a team of two people to take a written exam about Forensic Science (Round 1) and write a death report for a case study (Round 2). You must pass Round 1 to move on to Round 2. I worked with a good friend of mine, Kasey Park, for this event. HOSA recommended two textbooks to study for the event: Forensic Science: Fundamentals & Investigations 2nd Edition and Forensic Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques, Fourth Edition.

Kasey and I both had the books, since Winter Break of our sophomore year (2018-2019), and we both agreed to start studying during winter break. Instead, we both completely forgot about it and when we returned to school after the break, we knew we still had time to study, since SLC was in March. We made a game plan of what chapters to read and when to read them, and we agreed to meet for reviewing the chapters we read. But, it didn't happen.

This procrastination continued about a day before we needed to leave for SLC, and we both realized we needed to study two thick textbooks in about 24 hours. We both knew at this point we just needed to cram as much information we could possibly fit into our brains.

The way we crammed was we both read the textbook as fast as possible and absorbing information as we go. Even though will not understand everything, we can still get a lot of information that can help us do well.

We studied on the way to SLC and before the Round 1 exam, so we can have the best chance possible when taking the test. My partner and I took the Round 1 exam during the afternoon, and we both we did alright, but not good, so we were worried about whether or not we made the second round. We got a notification in the evening that we made to Round 2. Kasey and I started to study all night and during the morning to cram as much information as we could. A little before noon, we took the Round 2 Case Study Test, and we thought it was a breeze.

Since we finished our event, we could finally hang out with friends from our school, as well as students from other schools. I meant so many new people at HOSA SLC. The next day, we went to the award ceremony, and my partner and I did not get in the Top 5, so we were not recognized. But later we were informed that we got 9th place, which we were happy with since we did not study very much for this exam.

From my experiences ar HOSA SLC, I have learned many things and met many new people. I would recommend that if you have a testing event, you should start to study prior to SLC to give yourself the most amount of time to study before the test. I feel that cramming last minute at SLC is ineffective and very stressful. I also think that you should try to meet new people since the conference is for members all over the state of Georgia.

If you are a middle or high schooler, I would recommend attending HOSA SLC, as it will be a memory you will never forget.

Joel Lee
Joel Lee

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