SRS How do I loosen up?

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by korverftw, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. korverftw

    korverftw New Member

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    I'm kind of a tightly wound person. Ever since high school I've thought that I probably have some kind of anxiety problem. Basically on the mornings in which I have certain classes (usually ones where the professor cold calls, or if I have to do some kind of presentation, it also never happens when I have to go to big lectures where I just listen and take notes.) I wake up with one of those annoying nervous stomach aches.

    In high school sometimes it would get so bad that I would just ditch class and go home and I'd immediately feel better. I barely graduated. The same thing is happening in college and it effects my grades. I know it's some kind of anxiety thing specifically related to going to class because it never happens on weekends or days when I have to go to work. I feel great most of the time. I'm only a little bit overweight but my diet isn't great (campus...).

    I'd rather not have to go to the doctor, but if it's necessary I will. Natural remedies would be easier.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
  2. tenxia

    tenxia OT Supporter

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    Professor cold calls? Are you a TA?
     
  3. blackbirdbeatle

    blackbirdbeatle New Member

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    No, he means the prof asks questions to students. Puts them on the spot. Usually they don't expect the right answer, only something that shows you are paying attention. It'll be a question about what you are discussing right now and after the answer is given, the prof will continue with the right answer and explain why. You know, those ones.

    I can't really help you because it seems like you are an introvert and have a big issue with being in the spotlight but I'll tell you this. Nobody cares about you other than people you know. They won't talk about you or even think about you a minute after you give an answer, right or wrong. They won't care about your presentation after class is over (All this of course is if you don't do something extreme like run out screaming in the middle or a presentation hailing Hitler). And most people either don't know the question like you or are very worried their presentation will suck. Once you realise this, you might be more prone to take chances.

    I'd work up to ask some questions on your own in class. Something that you are truly puzzled about. You'll feel like puking but trust me, in a lecture hall of 200 people, at least half have the same or similar question and they'll be glad you asked it. Start with a smaller question or ask for a clarification. Maybe start by talking to the prof after class or some classmates about the questions you have real quickly. Or you can go to the prof privately during hours and then work up to some group thing the TA's usually have.

    In my program, public speaking, presentations, class discussions, etc... were a huge part of school. And usually the presentations had real world implications as we were representing groups and businesses in the community in real projects so we had that added pressure. Now in my third year a guy bombed on his presentation. His throat tensed up and he started squeaking and cracking. He finished but it was the most uncomfortable 15 minutes I've ever been to. It was even more memorable becuase to get in the third year he would have had to give around a hundred presentations already. I still remember it but I don't remember the guy. A few years later and I won't be able to place him if he was standing in front of me. Neither can my friends when I asked them a few months about it. It's just not that important.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
  4. seismic

    seismic New Member

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    I suggest the doctor. They may refer you to someone else, but getting that worked up over being asked questions in class isn't normal. It may just be that you need to get more comfortable with it, or it could need medication.

    I used to get overly nervous in those situations too, but doing more speaking in front of the class, and purposefully answering questions got me over that. Also, having a retail job pretty much destroyed any nervous feelings. :)
     
  5. oakback

    oakback New Member

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    If you can, force yourself to interact in class more, and you'll quickly discover that you really get used to it quickly.

    Be the first to raise your hand, take your best guess (most likely wrong), but you give the prof a good impression by interacting. Most times in small classes, nobody volunteers to give an answer, and many profs will stall waiting for someone to volunteer, before picking someone (I've some say "I'll wait", as long as it takes for someone to speak up, very awkward). If you get it out of the way at first, the class gets moving again, and the prof likely won't call on you again any time soon.
     
  6. johan

    johan Active Member

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    Three P's of avoiding lecture hall embarrassment: prep, participation, and placement.

    1) Prepare so you know your material.
    2) Volunteer an answer early on. EARLY. You know the answer so you volunteer.
    3) Sit in the front row. Don't hide. Look interested. Nod in agreement frequently.




    This will help you with regular social anxiety too.

    Affords you a high degree of control in a situation you perceive to be outside of your control (i.e. a prof cold calling on you "unannounced")
     
  7. tenxia

    tenxia OT Supporter

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    I think most ppl would be nervous being cold-called by their professors. I know I would. If I don't know the answer, I'd probably just end up guessing and be done with it.

    Just try not to care what ppl think. They actually don't really care. I bet most were relieved THEY weren't called upon.
     
  8. HailStorm

    HailStorm OT Supporter

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    I had similar issues until I went to the doc. I am now on a prescription that has changed my life. I used to get upset stomachs like you as well as have panic attacks. Haven't had any of that since I started taking the medicine. Also, since you are in college I'm assuming you are in your early 20's? You might just have an imbalance in the brain and could possibly grow out of it (I am hoping for that). Talk to your doc, you'll feel a million times better.
     
  9. korverftw

    korverftw New Member

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    Very interesting.

    Lots of good suggestions here. The problem is obviously deeper than being prepared for class and cold calling though so maybe medicine is the answer.
     

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