I did promise a post explaining how I’m coping this year, since things might have changed. I have had all but one of my professors this year, but I’m going to explain as best I can as to how I cope with each of them. Every class is different: professor, students, etc. Therefore, my coping methods won’t be exactly the same. I hope for those of you going to school, this will prove to be useful for you. Here’s a list of my classes and what I do to cope during the lectures:
Just so I don’t repeat myself for every class: I like to get to my classes at least 30 minutes early. This allows me to settle in and relax a bit before class starts. It also allows me to mentally prepare, and gives me time to set up my note-taking materials. Furthermore, getting to class earlier gives me a better chance to sit by an outlet to charge my phone while it plays noise (white noise, rain, etc.) for 3 hours. While I do have a portable charger, sometimes I forget it, or it dies, so being near an outlet is handy. I don’t play noise in my headphones in all my classes; only the ones I feel are very triggering. With almost all of my classes, I presented a doctor’s note saying I had to wear headphones. The professors I’ve had before, I didn’t do that because they didn’t say anything to me about it before. Presenting the doctor’s not has eased my mind and made me feel less embarrassed.
Tuesday class: This class doesn’t trigger me too badly. I’ve also had this professor before, and he has never triggered me in the past. I still put on my headphones and wear earplugs to dull the sound of other students, however. For this class, it’s important for me to sit up front. The professor writes notes on the white board and I need to be able to see. And because I’m not triggered by him, it’s totally fine. It’s not that I have bad eyesight; it’s just 1) easier to focus; 2) easier to hear him; and 3) I’m not surrounded by the talkative students.
Wednesday class: This class is slightly triggering. This is a new professor (as in, “pausing and becoming slightly nervous” new), who came from Hungary, whose accent is TOTALLY awesome. I just love accents, so, that’s not the triggering part. The triggering part is when he sometimes emphasizes his “s” sounds. It’s not terribly frequent, so I can handle it. The fact that he’s new is slightly cringey, but not triggering, because as the semester progresses I know he’s going to get used to everything. I also sit up front for this class and take notes from his PowerPoints, though it’s imperative to read the book as well. I like that about this class because, while some content from his lectures are going to be on tests, most of it will be from the book. So I don’t have to stress about missing a lot of things. Another added bonus is that he posts his PowerPoints on Blackboard (our school communication system), so that is also very helpful for me. I haven’t noticed any students triggering me, so that’s a relief. I’m hopeful that it remains that way.
Thursday classes: The first class I have for that day, I haven’t actually had yet. We were supposed to have class last week, but our professor got sick and couldn’t make it. We were told to read for next class. I’ve had this professor before. He’s soft spoken, but his “s” sounds drove me up the wall. So I am apprehensive about this class. Last time I took a class with him, I sat in the back near an outlet and it was difficult to pay attention to what he was saying because all I could hear were his “s” sounds. I’m going to try sitting near the front this time and make sure I have my portable charger with me, fully charged, in case I need to use it. The second class I have that day is with a professor that triggers me every 10 minutes or so, also with his “s” sounds. I sit in front anyway and try to focus very hard on the things he’s saying, not on the sounds he’s making. I had to step out once last time the class was in session, and I just called my dad so he can be here when class was over. The class itself is a very cool class. It’s on stress management. I’m hoping to learn new things on coping with misophonia, and coping with other stressful things in my life.
I found a printable task list for you to use (if you’d like) to help you track what you need to do. Hope it helps. 🙂
Below is an example I made.
I got these from a blog called misstina.com. You can view other printables there. 🙂
Furthermore, I recently purchased some new new earplugs! I wanted to try something new. Something relatively cheap, but good quality as well. They’re called Vibes High Fidelity Ear Plugs. On the front page, they have a list of what these earplugs do: immersive experience, increased clarity, damage reduction, reusable design, built for comfort, and low profile.
I’ll write another post once these get here and let you know how they work for me!
See you soon!