My First Day Of Class

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What I Already Knew/What I Wanted to Know
I held my breath as I scanned the syllabus on the first day of class. Then I heard my professor say “And in week thirteen you will present your research findings in your discussion sections”. Hearing this sent me into an automatic panic. Having to speak in class felt impossible to me. My flight or fight response was activated any time I anticipated the threat of speaking in class. I was sure to drop the class at any indication that I would have to talk, either by being called on or having to give a presentation. Sometimes I convinced myself things would be different and I would be able to handle it. It never worked, the results were the same; I didn’t go to class. All of my grades were based on papers and exams. So I would submit my papers and take the tests but not go to class. My half assed approach to participating in college was to take classes as if they were an independent study. I felt immediate relief when I choose avoidance until the guilt set in from getting poor grades, wasting money and lying to everyone. The vicious cycle only fueled my anxiety, my avoidance and my academic problems.
I knew the Enhancing Academic Performance class I took which was offered to me the first time my GPA fell below a C average, didn’t help. It was a skill building class taught by a counseling graduate student. For the most part, I knew how to study; I didn’t know how to feel less anxious.
What I needed to know was how to address my anxiety

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