So, I’m just over a week into my studies now and doing a lot of reading which is awesome. I find that when I’m forced to do a lot of reading, it has an effect on me similar to meditation. It forces my mind to quiet down and focus. My compulsion to jump from one activity to another slowly subsides. When I’m on my phone or laptop too much, I can feel my attention span waning, and I can become anxious too. Reading and studying is causing my brain to focus and expand again, so that’s pretty cool. I’ve missed it, I love intellectual growth.
The silly thing about it all is that none of the course work I’ve been assigned has given me any anxiety at all, I’m fearless in my studies up to this point with a lot of confidence in my capabilities, except for on the social end of things. That’s my weakness, and that’s what I really need to work right now. I’ve only had one anxiety attack in school so far and guess what that was about?
Having to introduce myself to my classroom!
What a strange thing for me to get all stressed out about – I know this in retrospection. I have confidence in my capabilities so why does it concern me at all, having to introduce myself to others? I don’t know… I suppose it’s because I was one of the first two people asked, so I was caught off guard before I had a chance to take control of my thoughts. I also fear to be judged based on what I say, how I say it and whether or not others can tell that I’m anxious… And it just spirals. I’d ended up with sweaty palms, legs, and a few nervous twitches.
It took me a few hours after class to shake off that feeling of having lost control. I handled my introduction, not terribly, but my voice did shake a little bit and I think it was obvious that I was uncomfortable. Oh well… I’m a little fish in a big pond right now, and I suppose I’m just a tad intimidated by being around so many smart and sophisticated people. When I was younger, I used to think that I was never meant for University. No one in my family had been to one, and I didn’t think I could for economic reasons. I’d also never applied myself enough in my teenage years, those years were all about chasing girls and being wild, yet here I am. I can do this and the only thing holding me back is a little voice in the back of my head saying “You don’t belong”.
Well, my inner voice is an asshole sometimes.
I do belong, and I realize that people may or may not judge me whether I’m quiet or loud or shy or confident. It doesn’t really matter, so I may as well be what feels best for me. I may as well be my quietly-confident self and just let it all go mad.
One thing that I was not expecting about University is that most of the students and professors that I’ve met are much less pretentious than I thought they might be. They’ve been friendly and helpful and want to help. I think I’ve put many aspects of University up on a big pedestal and thought I’d be looked down upon. Some people look up to celebrities and I look up to people with intelligence, people who are driven by thought and wisdom, those capable of both self-reflection and contemplated articulation. Those are my people!
I’ve heard that Europeans are more intellectual culturally compared to us in North America. It makes sense to me, they have very close proximities to other cultures, progressive social benefits and often free or affordable education. They obsess less over pop culture and more about general news and information. I’ve often wished that I could live there, over that pond, I’m not even too particular about where. Just somewhere that I could get by with my English language while I learn theirs. Switzerland maybe?
If there are any beautiful women from Switzerland reading this…
On a positive note, I’ve been making a few acquaintances, because I hesitate to say friends at this point. Other geeky writers like me are creepin’ about and It’s kind of wonderful. Reading books for homework and keeping a creative journal for marks? Um, okay! I can get behind this course work.
I continue to hope my experience bends in the direction of positivity, this wavering social anxiety can be damned! I can see my future before me as I step closer one foot at a time towards it. It feels like it’s all just nothing but a dream and I’m simply going along for the ride…
I hope that you’ve all been doing well this week so far. We’ve made it to Wednesday!
What obstacles have you come up against this week and survived? Comment below!