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09/07/2019

Severe anxiety and college… what should I do?

QUESTION
Severe anxiety and college… what should I do?
So, I’m a senior still in high school and am now looking towards graduation and being admitted into college. Although I’m happy to be graduating from high school, I’m beginning to dread the thought of college. I have made two possible decisions for my career path – either a clinical/medical lab technician or a mining engineer. All the colleges I have looked at ALWAYS require some form of communication classes (public speaking, speech, and such) for any sort of major.

Now I have realized that college may not be for me, because whether I like it or not there’s going to be some sort of social aspect where I may have to do presentations and speak up in front of lots of people. This makes me feel sad and hopeless for my future. I don’t know what I may exactly have, but I’ve always avoided these sort of situations in high school. I’d talk to my instructors and most of them would be understanding of my situation.

So, I guess the main thing I’m looking for here is advice. What should I do?

Please keep in mind that this sort of thing I’m suffering from does not simply go away at whim. It’s an ongoing thing I’ve been dealing with for years.

ANSWER
Kim … do not worry about this fear. There are good ways to overcome and be a fantastic speaker and presenter. Start by using a video recorder and tape yourself on speeches, etc. This will give you confidence as time goes on. Start now, even if you don’t have any presentations coming up. Start by making a list of common questions that people ask each other on a daily basis. Do not think of your answers. Then put the recorder on and answer each question on the fly, and see how you do. Critique yourself, and try it again. Continue with topics on the news or any topic you want to get good at. Pretend that a class essay was supposed to be presented as a speech. Google search online sites on how to improve your speaking and presentation skills. Practice, practice, practice. If you stick with you will be surprised on how a weakness can actually become a great strength. Do not underestimate your abilities. BIG HUG ! Chip