By Hannah

I am just going to get straight to the point with this post: exams are stressful. Papers are stressful. As students, sometimes it seems as though we are predisposed to this stress and are forced to accept that it is simply part of our role. Stress and student life go hand in hand.

In my first two years here at U of T, I focused more on school and other things and ended up forgetting one of my biggest passions: music. I found myself dealing with a tremendous amount of anxiety, and more stress than I ever dreamed I could have. It was in moments of extreme panic and anxiety when I realized how important it was to hold true to the things that made me happy to ward off these feelings.  

A guitar and keyboard in a bedroom

Whether I am playing music or listening to it, it is the one constant that puts my stressed-out mind at ease. I started playing piano when I was three, trumpet when I was 7 and this year I am attempting to teach myself guitar. For me, music is the one thing that makes my brain completely switch off and focus on things other than stress. I become so engulfed with learning a new song everything else dissipates entirely. There is something so calming about playing an instrument or even singing that I have not found replicable in anything else. When things get especially difficult, whether due to school or life, it is comforting to have something that you can turn to when you need to switch off.

I cannot express how beneficial it is for me to have something that allows me to step away from stress and anxiety, and I encourage you to find something that does the same for you. Finding that thing that makes your stress and worries dissipate, and your brain turn off for a while, is valuable beyond words.

What helps you cope with anxiety and stress? Let us know on our Facebook page!