Social Anxiety and College Presentations

Hey there.

I entered October, like I usually do; with the plan of scaring the complete crap out of myself, but this was not what I had in mind.

I’m terrified. The most anxious I have been in a long time. In my social studies course I have 9 modules, and in each one i have to stand in front of the class and do a presentation. I haven’t done any yet, but I know I will have to soon. One in particular, requires me to make eye contact and answer questions from the rest of my class. I basically have to give a lesson. I won’t lie, some people in that class make me feel really uncomfortable – even if they don’t mean to.

Firstly, I feel anxious in normal everyday conversation with some of these people – and I have NEVER been able to make eye contact with people even casually. How will i do it in that nerve wrecking situation? What if someone laughs? What if I stutter or say something ridiculous? What if my face goes red and I sweat and shake? What if someone asks me a question I can’t answer just to see me struggle? …..Or worse – what if I cry or lose my temper at someone for making me feel like crap? I did a cocktail demonstration in my bar work course and people commented how they thought i was about to cry or pass out.

I’m going to be on FULL display to these people. Usually I’m hiding behind something, or fidgeting, so nobody can see the full me. I don’t like how I look or move, and don’t like when others see it. I feel physically sick every time i hear about these presentations but this one especially has me wanting to die.

How the hell do I get through this?

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2 thoughts on “Social Anxiety and College Presentations

  1. I know that this is probably way too late to be of any help but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give you a tip that helped me when I did my first presentation in college. It was an English class and we were asked to present our papers, which had to be about a situation that really changed you as a person. I decided to write about my first major panic attack. As I got more and more nervous I actually paused in my reading and pointed out my reactions, like shaking hands and stuttering, in order to illustrate what I go through. I even was able to avoid eye contact by explaining that it made things worse. I got an A that day and getting over that hump has slowly made it a little bit easier to talk in front of a class. Also, I find that it helps to look at people’s foreheads instead of straight in their eyes, it feels a bit weird but it really does help.

    • It’s not too late at all! I was thinking of writing about anxiety for one of my presentations. I might still do that. Also I’ll definitely be doing the forehead thing, because no way am i making direct eye contact!

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