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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My response in previous years would just be to drop the class and take something else... but I can't. I need two 500 level history courses for my degree, and I left it to my 4th year.

I looked at the course outline for the 500 level course I'm taking in the fall semester, and, well, it has everything I avoid in a class. Group work, presentations EVERY CLASS, and expected participation in discussions EVERY CLASS.

I panicked and looked at the course outlines for every single other 500 level history course available this semester, but they all have pretty much the same thing... Daily class participation as a grade component, group work, presentations all the time.

This is making me sick to my stomach, I don't know what to do
 

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Speak! Avoidance reinforces your fears. This year I deliberately signed up for classes that will force me to participate. I am still quite nervous, and am sure that I'll feel all the familiar feelings when I am actually in class and thinking about raising my hand. Nevertheless, I'm still going through with it. You have to expose yourself to the situations that terrify you, and then counter the irrational thoughts that follow the situation with realistic and reasonable thoughts. Add the C to the B, and you get T. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sigh, I know you're right delirium, but I am soooo bad when it comes to presentations it's downright embarrassing and extremely awkward for the whole class.

I'm about to send the prof this e-mail. Thoughts?

Hi Dr. (Name),

My name is (name). I am an undergrad student enrolled in your "class name" seminar during the fall semester.

I am worried about the amount of presentations and discussions that make up the
grade component. I have public speaking anxiety, and in my first 3 years of
university I have avoided classes with discussions and presentations.

I am also aware that many of my fellow students will be grad students, and probably
experienced with presentations, vocal debate and discussing ideas. I find this
intimidating because my public speaking skills are nowhere near that level.

I do not want to drop this class, so I was just wondering if you have dealt with something like this before, or know of any resources at the university available for this sort of issue.

Thank you,

(My name)
 

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Just admit it. Inform the entire class of your anxiety: I know it's hard, but it will make you feel much better.
 

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This is anticipatory anxiety at its finest. Remember that you are imagining things to be far worse than what they actually will be. This will be good practice for you. I know you hate me saying it, but this is your chance to improve as the semester goes on.

You will have something to talk about in class - preparation for he lesson and discussion - kind of like accountability. They will listen to you because you will have information that they need to know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
He messaged me back but I'm not sure where to go now. He reminded me that all 500 level courses have lots of student participation and said if its going to be too much of an impediment I should consider dropping the class...

Still no idea what to do... the counseling center seems the next most logical option.
 

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You can still do it. SA is not worth putting your entire life on hold.
Even if you were to mess up the first time, everybody would see that you stuck with it and improved. There really isn't much anyone can do TO you. They are all nervous themselves!
 

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Just admit it. Inform the entire class of your anxiety: I know it's hard, but it will make you feel much better.
I don't know... I've sort of found that admitting social anxiety can become a way to indulge in it and hide from confronting it. If nobody knows that you have the anxiety, then you have the added worries about "trying to appear normal" which means you'll have a slight push to speak up. That's just my experience anyway.
 

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Just take it one day at a time and you'll get through it.

Certainly you've probably already taken a speech course in college, so this can't be much worse than that. It's going to be tough, but you can do it.
 

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My ability to do groupwork effectively depends on who my partners are. If I'm working with nice people who don't have a problem having me in their group I work well. But if I sense or feel that someone wants to work with other people instead of me I feel lots of anxiety and it affects my work.

I rarely voluntarily participate in class discussions. I have participated a few times in my academic career at college. Sometimes my contributions are good (I think) but a few times I simply embarrassed myself and I have decided to just sit in the back and never participate unless I'm forced to.

I can give presentations rather easily because I don't think that public speaking is social. I think it is kind of impersonal standing in front of a group of people and basically giving them facts and information. I have only had experience speaking to small groups of about 20 to 30 people.

When I have to give a presentation I am anxious but I spend a lot of time preparing so that when it is time to speak I don't have to worry about what I have to say.

People who think I am strange and shy (like teachers I have had in the past) tend to complement me and give me high scores for my presentations because when I'm speaking my shyness seems to fade away. I make eye contact, smile and speak so eloquently and relaxed that no one realizes how afraid I usually am.

So try not to be afraid of public speaking. If you have SA you will be nervous about presenting, but if you prepare and know your stuff you'll be bolstered by your own pride and intelligence so that when you have to speak the anxiety will seem to go away.

This semester I have to give a 10 minute presentation in an animal physiology lab and a 15 minute group presentation in my genetics lab. Right now I am terrified but if I can find an interesting topic that I can become a quasi-expert on I should be able to do well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Futures, no I haven't.

Thanks zach but I cannot relate to your experiences at all. I know there's a lot of SAers that are not afflicted in presentation and class situations. I am not one of you. My presentations, talking in class SA is worse than my regular social situation SA, by far. At severe panic attack, fight or flight level.

I've done 2 presentations in front of a class in college. My mind has shut out both experiences. I can't even remember other than a few images ingrained into my head of the faces of my classmates.

I would rather write a 50 page master's thesis. 100 even. I am running out of time to do something and the counseling center isn't open until the same day I have this class for the first time. I'm desperate at this point, I'm probably going to go see the family doctor and beg for prescription drugs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I finally had this class for the first time today, and also visited him in office hours before that. He assures me that it's not so bad, that each person in each group only has to present twice, and that it's quite fun because we play the role of characters in our presentations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Going to resurrect this topic because this problem has come to a successful conclusion.

I had my first presentation yesterday (I chose to go in the first week of presentations so I wouldn't have anyone to be compared against), and it went good. I say good, because I was audible, not shaking all over, and not messing up my words, but I wasn't a confident machine or anything like that. Of the other 3 presenters, one didn't even show up to class, and the other two didn't actually role play like we're supposed to, they just said "Here's the point of the stuff I had to read in the textbook." I didn't embarrass myself, and this won't something I'm going to dwell on in a negative light like past presentations.

Today I got a personal e-mail from my prof saying something like "For someone who claims to have anxiety, you gave an excellent presentation."

Well, this topic is over.
 

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I knew it!
I knew you would do well! :boogie :boogie :boogie
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks man. Your advice helped me yesterday as I was getting nervous before and during class. I thought "I'm making this worse than it actually is." It definitely helped my anxiety.

Can mods move threads on this forum? If so, could you move this topic to triumphs against social anxiety?
 
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