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roarrrr
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I was planning on signing up at the community college near me in the spring. Meaning, I have to start signing up now to attend. I have no idea what I want to do with my life, I kind of think this may just be a waste of money, but it would at least buy me some time.

The problem is, when I look at the required courses, there is a public speaking course. Whenever I just think about it I feel a panic attack coming on! So basically, that is the only thing that is keeping me back from signing up for this college. I know I wouldn't be able to survive that. I don't want to sign up and then have to drop out or be kicked out because I refuse to go to this course. I'd be wasting money.

At high school, whenever there was a big presentation. I would view the day as the end of my life. Seriously. It was totally irrational yet it was completely true in my mind. The day would approach and I would start thinking of ways to commit suicide. I'm not being melodramatic, I'm being quite serious. I feel if I sign up and have to do this class, it might be too much. I do believe, in my state of mind right now, that I would rather kill myself than subject myself to that hell pit. But, if I don't sign up for college, my family will be so disappointed in me, my life will be heading nowhere because I'm terrified of getting a job. Either way, I'm considering suicide.


There must have been people here that are or were attending college. How did you deal with a public speaking class?

My hands are shaking just typing this out. Please help.
 

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A Living Woman
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3,464 Posts
Well you don't have to take that course first do you? I mean...you could take other required courses and that will give you time to kinda get used to the idea and be in a better place to handle it. Eventually...you'll have to dive in. And it will suck. You probably won't like it. But you're not gonna be the only person taking that course with this issue. Since it's required, lots of other kids are gonna be taking it and not wanting to be there.

If you really don't think you could handle it, maybe you could get a letter from your doctor. Severe anxiety disorders are considered "disabilities" so...yeah, you could get out of it.
 

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Shy US Marine
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Talking in front of the class sucks, I really really hate it.

If I have to stay quiet all semester I will. The Best way to deal with it is to either talk to the profesor before hand, email or such and explain to him that you have SA. Another way would be to just do it, forget about everything and just do it.

In my last year in High school, I had to do a solo oral 10-15 minute oral presentation, I even choked up and made a gasp for air kind of noise, everyone laughed, but I cared more about passing the class rather then thinking about how anxious I was. Once you''re in class and get a feel for your classmates, it'll get much better

I'm currently going through this in my English Class. At first I couldnt stand being in a room full of people, I got headaches and couldnt take it, I sometimes left during the break they gave us. Now I feel more comfortable after I found a girl I can talk to. :)
 

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I have taken two public speaking classes. I hate having to give speeches because I don't like to get up in front of groups of people. I took some other classes first then took the public speaking classes in the summer. I just made sure to practice my speech over and over, so I would know them. Most people in the public speaking classes don't like giving speech. I learn that the other people in class don't care if you mess up because they worried about messing up too. Go ahead and sign up college, you can take the speaking class when you feel ready.
 

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Banned
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Is it a course that improves your skills at speaking publicly? You should actually go to that. I bet they offer some really good lessons on how to handle anxiety during these situations and that would be a major benefit to anyone like us. Imagine, at the end of taking this course, having the ability and skills to speak publicly, with confidence.

I gotta disagree with everyone who says you should try and get out of having to take this part of the course. You shouldn't change your choices in life to accommodate possible anxiety. If you're like me, and don't care about missing out on certain things in life, then yeah, try to get out of it. But if you're trying to get better, I encourage you to take the course, and possibly explain privately to the professor that you are prone to panic attacks when speaking publicly. I'm sure you won't be the first person he/she has encountered who had problems with this.
 

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roarrrr
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It is true that I don't have to sign up for the class right away. That is a good thing, definitely. But is the looming ever really better? :b

I could very well email the teacher and try to explain my situation, but I doubt it would do very much good. It would be different if it was another class, like English and I was trying to get out of a few presentations. But theres not much a teacher could do when the whole course revolves around public speaking. I feel as though emailing them would just draw attention to myself and I'd still be forced to go through with it like everyone else.

I'm kind of wary of getting 'special treatment'. Like getting a note from a doctor. It just doesn't feel right. Even though it probably would be seen as a 'disability' and it certainly feels like one... I just feel that wouldn't be fair and I'd probably kick myself afterwards for not having the courage to go through with it. I got special treatment on the big 'graduation presentation' I had to do in high school and I still feel as though I just took the easy way out.

God, if I sign up for college, this is never going to leave my mind.

What exactly is a class like this like? Would I be having to stand up and say something every day? Or is it more like... you prepare a speech and it looms over you for days until your specific day arrives?

Either way, it sounds horrible. :afr

Is it a course that improves your skills at speaking publicly?
I'm really not sure what is in the course specifically.
 

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My guess is you won't just jump into it. I think they'll teach you things, skills, on how to talk confidently, clearly, how to recover from mistakes, etc...I think it'd be good for anyone with social anxiety, outside of having to get graded on it and stuff. The thought of going to school scares me, so I can't imagine taking a course like that. I hope you do though, cause I don't want anyone to act/feel like I do.
 

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I have managed to avoid doing any speaking in university so far, but this year I'm required to speak for seven minutes on what I have studied during the week for seminars. Yes, seven minutes is not a long time, but it seems like an eternity to me, and I'm expected to do this every week. The last time I did a presentation was at A-level and I was stammering and shaking quite noticeably during it.

Bollocks... maybe I should explain my condition to my tutors and asked to be excused from doing this? But then the other students would be curious why I didn't have to do it...
 

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Hiding in my basement
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It was the same for me. I ended up not taking the required speech class, and went ahead and took every single other class online, and got a bottom of the barrel college degree. I couldn't make myself do it.
 

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roarrrr
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
But the idea that you might actually be really good at this public speaking thing is a valid possibility. You also might end up enjoying it.
The funny thing is, I think I actually do enjoy talking about something that I'm interested in and am well-versed in. In high school, we had to do a half an hour presentation to graduate. On any topic we wanted to. I had been dreading it since the 5th grade when I learned of it. It was dreadful. But, I got special treatment, and I was allowed to present it after school to just my teacher, who was a really sweet woman who I didn't have much anxiety around. The thing was, once I got into my presentation, I really enjoyed it and I think I did really well. I knew my topic. I wasn't reading off cards. I just knew it all in my head, and it was a great success. I actually went for an hour instead of just 30 minutes. It was strange.

So, what I'm saying is. I don't think its that far-fetched that I may actually enjoy giving a speech of some sort. It just kind of the 'many people' factor that starts to make me fear. Fellow peers of my own age scare me like nothing else in this world.

But thank you for your whole post, it was helpful.
 

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I've taken a public speaking class at my community college and was in toastmasters speaking for a while. I'll give you my 2 cents.

I don't know how bad your SA is but from the sounds of it public speaking can cause borderline panic attacks for you. In this case your SA may be a lot worst than mine, in which case some of what I say won't be applicable to you.

First things first. No one likes public speaking. It's not an SA thing, it's not even an introvert thing. No one likes public speaking. This is a human condition that everyone experiences. When I took my course there were many social butterflies in there and not a single one liked public speaking. They all dreaded it. So everyone will be equally shaking in their boots. On top of this, unlike other classes students seem to bond a lot closer, so you'll find a much more supportive environment than in most standard classes.

Next thing the environment isn't as harsh as your imagining. The teachers doing the public speaking courses know that it's hard for everyone. In my case if you showed up and spoke you passed with a high grade. So whether you were jittery, choked in speaking, forgot your lines ect didn't matter. You did it, you made the grade. Almost no one takes a public speaking class for the sake of taking a public speaking class. The teachers know this and therefore expect a bunch of nervous students every semester whom are just taking it to meet a requirement.

Ok this is the last part. Even if you're a lousy speaker and completely nervous there's proven ways of managing your nervousness. Some of these I picked up from reading, others I learned in class lectures, others I figured out myself. If you were giving a public speech I'd be glad to give a boat load of tips which cut down your nervousness dramatically and also make you a better presenter.
 

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I took a required public speaking course in college and it was probably the worst experience of my life. Every class was an absolute nightmare. I survived it though and you will too.
 

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I dropped out of my class. I don't think I should've though. I think the hardest part about the class besides the speech was researching and preparing an outline for the speeches.
 

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I avoided it like the plague, and guess what? I ended up liking it at the end. You just have to force yourself to go. You will probably be really good at it. Just sign up, and go to class. You wont die, and the worst case scenario isn't even that bad. You freeze up or pass out? No one will even care. I'm more concerned about my day than some person who had trouble during their speech in class. Just do it.
 
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