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I'm wondering if there are other graduate students on this board. I'm in my second year of PhD work (In English lit.), and I feel my social anxiety is making the universally-stressful experience of grad school all the more difficult for me to handle. But there are no fellow students in my program with whom I feel comfortable talking openly and honestly about my problems. So if there are other grad students here (in whatever field and at whatever level), I'd be very much interested in establishing some kind of support network.
 

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Hi,

I just joined this board today. Saw your posting and just wanted to say that I am in lawschool currently and have completed a Master's degree. As I'm sure you know, it's tough. I always think... it's hard enough doing this without having the stupid SA to affect evey aspect of my life.

Anyway, you're certainly not alone.

Cheers,
CLS
 

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grad school

Hello, I am in grad school for occupational therapy currently doing an internship and my SA definitely gets in the way. I have never been officially diagnosed with SA (just general anxiety) but I am definitely having trouble getting to know people, performing in front of others, etc. I may be failing because of this anxiety and I feel like its my fault! I got through the classes ok, when I had presentations I just did them and eventually they weren't so hard anymore. (not that I like doing them or anything) But grad school definitely expects you to be social and talk with your classmates about assignments, issues, etc. I did not realize this until I was in the program. So if you would like to talk about any issues you are having-Let me know!
 

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I am a grad student in an education program. This is my last semester of classes before student teaching. I am ok with the student teaching ( I teach my own class on Saturdays), but the presentations in my own classes have been killing me. I have had a 50/50 of some being ok and some being disasters. I have one left for one class, at this point I'll make it, but I cannot wait for the stress to be over. How did everyone else make it?
 

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I just started my master's degree program in mental health counseling. So far it seems to be going okay, I just get really nervous at the beginning of each new class where we go around the room and introduce ourselves. :) Since I have only finished one class (just started my 2nd class on Thursday), I can't really say too much how my SA is getting in the way so that remains to be seen.
 

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good idea

I would definately be interested in a group of grad students with sa. I'm a phd student in history. Yesterday i would have to say was my worst experience in trying to cope with sa and the expectations of public presentations connected to a phd. while i have gotten over the fear of talking from a paper to a group, it is the general questions / discusions which i stumble over significantly and it makes me look very stupid. I'm a shy and quiet person anyway and with 30 pairs of eyes looking for my quick response to something does nothing for the sa. but the frustrating thing is, give me the question or discussion on a bit of paper and i can write something great. I was just wondering if other people have encountered this or how others have dealt with it.

rainbowgal ;)
 

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I'm going back to get my masters in geography after a 5 year lull in education. I don't struggle with presentations (which you can plan ahead of time) as much as class discussions. Basically, I have an overwhelming fear of looking stupid in front of a large number of people!

I'm a shy and quiet person anyway and with 30 pairs of eyes looking for my quick response to something does nothing for the sa. but the frustrating thing is, give me the question or discussion on a bit of paper and i can write something great.
ranbowgal - I'm the same way. I think it's because I have to work so hard mentally dealing with the pressure of the situation, that it's close to impossible to think of something coherent to say at the same time!

My only trick is to be as prepared for class as I possibly can, and try to think things through ahead of time, so I won't have to do it in the heat of the moment. And when a topic comes up in which I have something to contribute, jump on it! And then the odds are less that later I'll be put on the spot randomly, because I've already talked.

I'm so sorry about your bad experience! :rub
 

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Hi Tangle,

:agree that it is defiinately about looking stupid and being fearful of that. but that has made me think that i must put ! so ! much pressure on myself in order for me to go completely blank. sometimes i even forget the question. yesterday was a day i just wanted to :hide and in turn i got :mum with myself, thinking i was a failure. its a no win situation and i wonder sometimes (seei can think when i write ..lol) how much the ideal of perfectionism plays in all of this. Anyway, some food for thought.

Rainbowgal ;)
 

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Hello, I just wanted to give all of the grad students here some inspiration. I was failing my grad school internship because of SA, and not just 5 weeks later I am doing really well! I think it is because I made up my mind that this is what I wanted to do and I did it. I still feel that SA, but I ignore it, and it goes away, or I just don't show it. I will be graduating with my Masters in Occupational Therapy in a few weeks and this is something I never thought I could do. I am a really shy person and if I can do it anyone can! :banana
 

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Well done, Lucky22! That's really great. I'm a grad student, doing an MSc in Ecology, and I can't believe I'm actually back at uni, asking for more after all the problems and heartache I had at undergrad. But that has to be a positive, right?

I have problems talking in class (won't do it), asking questions, even going to the library. It does take its toll and I'm sure I'd do better and appear more enthusiastic without SAD. I'm so worried about my references too.

Combined with the social problems here (I have barely any friends), work is very, very difficult to do but once we've made it through, noone can take our qualifications away from us. It's going to hurt but we've already come so far.
 

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:yes Wow, that's true about qualifications. And really that's why I'm back in school. I want to do something well, and have a degree to prove it, even if it's hard. Somehow going to a new school to get my masters makes me want to believe this time will be different, that I won't be so miserable because I'm making a new start and am a little bit wiser than I was before.

Rainbowgal, the drive to be perfect definitely adds to the pressure of school for me. Since I don't say things often, I want every word the professors hear to be absolutely fascinating :idea . It's no wonder we stumble over the bizarre pressure we put on ourselves!
 
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