First week of School is Behind Me. Self-Doubt, Social Anxiety, And Perseverance

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!

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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”.

Anxiety

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!

54 thoughts on “First week of School is Behind Me. Self-Doubt, Social Anxiety, And Perseverance

      1. Haha hi Mathew!
        I actually started over a year ago but only did it sporadically, but I picked it back up a couple weeks ago and made a commitment to start taking it more seriously and post much more consistently and start engaging more on other blogs.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh gosh.. I am not from Switzerland…
    But I live in Europe and I am grateful to that.
    I cheer on you❤️and I am proud of you. You are brave and you face your fears every day… it is hard and I am grateful to you, because you put words to a topic we don’t talk so much about and your honesty is powerful.
    Thank you for being you.
    Ok, I have to stop myself now…
    wow, I should have liked to have a cup of coffee with you and talk you talk, you are a good listener❤️🎶❤️
    Enjoy your day.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Mat! I was struck when you shared ….”I’m a little fish in a big pond right now….”

    I hear you and I get you ….that may be the usual feeling the first week. I remember my Uni days too (just a couple of years back?!?!?!?! Wahahah! Who am I kidding?!? 😂🤣😅)

    Well, in time, you’ll get your usual awesome bearings just by being your AWESOME self! Then…. you’ll realize that you’re actually a BIG fish in a little pond! 😁👏☀️💫 You can even conduct some creative writing classes with your brilliance ….. all in good time!

    Trust me, I can spot great talent and good heart! ❤️

    HAPPY 1st week in Uni! Enjoy the ride! YEAH!!! 😁🌟⭐️💫🌟⭐️🌟⭐️💫⭐️💫💫

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Aww, I liked this. I’m nearly through with my first week back at uni too. Not quite the same experience and the social part has always been my achilles heels. It’s all perspective, it will be a good ride. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Social anxiety can be overcome, it needs training just like training a muscle. You don’t have to worry about people’s judgement: in all cases they will judge you! So who cares if they like you or not. You always have a great content and this, is being lost progressively with the pop culture mania. Trust me, there is more to life than people’s judgements!
    And it is true that people in Europe are more intellectual culturally then americans because they are in touch with the rest of the world.
    Great post as usual! good luck in your endeavors! And very sorry that i am not a beautiful girl from Switzerland 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey! So happy you made it 😊 You’ll be doing great. I hope you also told them that you have your blog. Did you? When people know eachother better one of the two things happen, they’d leave or they’d stay. And that’s how you’ll get closer to find your people 😊 Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. ‘She doesn’t even go here!’ *ducks head* *hides behind sunglasses*
        P.S. I’ve got that story ready for tomorrow if you’re still accepting possible submissions for your competition. Hope I haven’t missed the deadline.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Amazing post Mathew!!..while reading your post I was able to recall the time when I had to introduce myself to my class. I could totally pertain with your situation since I was trembling at that moment.
    All the best for your future!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Not sure about your choice of Switzerland if you want to speak English… They do have a few national languages ie. French, German and Italian, but English isn’t one of them. On the other hand, you may wish to come to the UK to enjoy the Brexit spectacle… We do speak English, although with a different accent to yours… The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, but you only find out when you go there…

    Enjoy university.

    Lieve

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I am firmly in favour of being OUT to the disgust of my kids… I know it won’t be easy for a short while, but it will be better for the UK in the long run. It’s just a case of convincing the younger generation who are so scared of change. They have only ever had good times, and don’t realise that change can be a good thing. Still, as they say, they will be living with the consequences for much longer…

        Lieve

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I am a first year in high school now. I know it’s not exactly the same thing but I get the nerves. I am a geek when it comes to tests and studying but I become a fish out of water when it comes to making friends. I find that people don’t really write anymore (poetry, stories, etc) unless it’s for marks. I find those assignments easy ( writing stories, poetry, etc) because I do it for fun and people think I am a genius for getting 90’s and above for it. I understand nerves as it is a big part of what I do( other than writing) which is public speaking and choir. I learnt to overcome them and your post really helped with that last bit I didn’t understand

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You got this Mathew! Being an introvert myself, I can relate to the social part. I have been doing lot of spiritual reading these days and i feel that’s helping me. I have to do presentations, a few times a year, in my job and I am kind of now looking forward to those. They say “Anything you want is just beyond your fear”. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

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