SFA Homecoming, Jesse McCartney, and Panic Attacks

SFASU homecoming is always something that us SFA students look forward to, whether it be because of the football game, the parade or the bonfire. This year, however, the homecoming was different. Why? Because this year, SFA—with the help of SAA and many other organizations—was able to get Jesse McCartney to perform during the bonfire. 

Of course, I was excited! This musician was a part of my childhood and, like a true 90s kid, I was all about that nostalgia. I invited a couple of my friends to come with my roommate and I to go see him. When we got there, all spirits were high, and we waited in the crowd of people who too were waiting for him to perform. We all laughed and joked around, really excited to see Jesse perform.   

  [Photo by: Kendra Washington]

However, as soon as the tape that was holding the crowd back was cut, the happy fun time became a hellish nightmare. Much like when you have GA tickets for a concert, people shoved their way towards the front, making the word crowding have a new definition. In said rushed crowding, I lost two of my friends in the crowd and grabbed onto the other two friends with me. Two of us tried to make sure there was room for us to breathe, considering you could barely move. 

What made the situation worse was that some guy—who my friends and I had been talking to previously—put his girlfriend on his shoulders, causing the crowd to start shouting at them. It sucked even more for me because I was right next to them, so I saw it when a random bystander—after asking the guy to put his girlfriend down because no one could see, and the girlfriend flipping the bystander off—pulled the girlfriend off the guy’s shoulder. She didn’t fall hard from what I saw, but it started an even bigger fight.

I may not have realized it in the moment, but right then, my claustrophobia and anxiety spiked, and suddenly I couldn’t breathe. The same could be said for the friends around me. I just knew if a fight broke out, then I was legit going to have a panic attack and puke right there. However, seeing my friends in a similar situation as me, I rushed to get us out. 

It’s sad to say that we left when Jesse was performing, and it’s upsetting to know my friends and I couldn’t enjoy ourselves because children don’t know how to act. 

The rest of the night wasn’t too bad. My friends and I enjoyed the bonfire, and them went back to my dorm room to play Just Dance 2019. Although I do wish we could have enjoyed the performance, I’m glad we got out when we did. It wasn’t a good situation at all. I hope that SFA can better coordinate stuff like mini concerts because it needs to be addressed. I hope the next bonfire-concert SFA has is better. 

Photo by: Kendra Washington