"You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you" - Brian Tracy (The Happiness Planner)
I spoke about this a little bit in my previous blog post of my most proud moment as they kind of mix together because my most proud moment was because of the difficult time I had getting there. So it was when I was doing my A Levels at College, I hadn't found them the easiest at the best of times. I studied Health and Social Care, Sociology and Children's Play, Learning and Development, which I chose because my aim was to do teaching. I struggled with Sociology a lot more than the other two because I didn't really understand it and there were so many theorists we had to remember and what they all believed in. Also, as I said in my previous post, I've always been better at coursework than exams and Sociology was all exams.
I also had a couple of things going on personally at this time so along with struggling with my courses, I started to have panic attacks. I had never had panic attacks before so didn't really understand to start with so I just kept it to myself. I didn't tell my parents or my tutors. I would then start missing lessons because I would have a panic attack before college and I just wouldn't want to leave the house afterwards so thought it wouldn't matter if I missed a couple of lessons. However, this would then trigger more panic attacks because I would be worrying about my exams and how I was going to pass them.
So, it got to the point where a tutor pulled me up about my attendance and this is when I finally explained it to them. So I went round to one tutor from each subject that I felt comfortable talking to and told them about it and each tutor was really helpful. They would go over any work I'd missed and be really understanding if I needed to leave a lesson for a few minutes. They really helped and I would often have little chats with the first tutor I spoke about it with to see how I was getting on and if there was anything they could do to make me feel better.
Anyway, things worked out for the best and I'd sorted out the things that were going on with me personally and I passed all of my exams which led to me being accepted to university. Don't get me wrong, I still have the occasional panic attack now if things get a bit too much for me, they don't just go away. But I know how to control them myself now and everyone around me knows that I have them so are really understanding. I think if anyone else is in this situation my advice would be to tell people sooner rather than later. If you're struggling with panic attacks or any other form of mental health, just tell someone that you trust because they can make it better and offer you the help that you need. especially when it comes to exams and college work.