Saturday, August 29, 2015

The College Diaries | The Time Being Self-Conscious Conquered my Life

It's Friday and it's been yet another week at college. Honestly at this point I feel like I've already been here years yet it's barely been two weeks. Feelings of anxiety and homesickness are definitely not as common. I've finally established regular eating and sleeping patterns and overall I'm not hating the experience.

Classes started this week and I don't think I've ever been happier to be back in a classroom. There's something about the teach/learn interaction that is so straightforward and beneficial that I just love; proclamations of a true nerd, am I right? But seriously, for me succeeding inside the classroom is exponentially easier than succeeding outside the classroom. In the real world everything isn't typed up in convenient PowerPoints or condensed into a textbook. Sometimes we have to gamble and assume which, more times than not, doesn't end how we want it to.

But today I actually want to talk about my difficulties inside the classroom. I like to think I'm a fairly intelligent person. Subjects that usually frustrate the normal student aren't as bad for me and so far my classes have reflected that. Even though I'm taking an advanced course typically meant for upperclassmen and graduate students, it doesn't seem like an extremely hard class, material-wise. Though what is hard for me is discussion. Raising my hand to ask a question or give an answer. The potential of being wrong looms over me and my mind immediately associates being 'wrong' with being 'stupid' and scares me from even trying. Every time the teacher asks the question, I almost immediately have an answer in my mind but by the time I get the courage to vocalize my answer, someone has already answered.

Being so self-conscious of myself and what others think of me really limits me, both academically and socially. There's always some worry going through my mind. What if people think I'm a nerdy know-it-all? What if they think I'm dumb? What if they think I'm mean? What if they think I'm clingy? But the truth is, people don't think about me nearly as much as I think they do. Don't get me wrong, sometimes they do. But if those people are really analyzing you that much, maybe they aren't necessarily worth your time.

I agree it's not as easy as it sounds. But next time I find myself hesitating because of other people I'm just going to think "F*** it, who cares?" and do it. So today I decided to run for the President of my class. I refuse to be intimidated and I refuse to be submissive. If I win, great, and if I don't, oh well at least I tried. If there's something you're hesitant about doing, I say go for it. Don't let other people hold you back.

Those are my thoughts for this week. Now begins my first official weekend at college, so I'll let you know how that goes.