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Conquering Freshmen Fears

I remember all too well my very first time walking into a college class. It was a 9am French class, and I had woken up two hours earlier to prepare. I was terrified. I was late and then proceeded to answer with a Spanish “si” instead of “oui” when my professor asked me a question. My heart raced and my face flushed deep red. I had from that day set the standard for the rest of the term, and I suffered painfully shy and awkward moments nearly every class.

I can now say that walking into my classes this term has been the opposite experience. With practice and time comes confidence. I no longer have to carry a map to locate my classrooms, and I’ve learned to plan my walk accordingly so I don’t show up to class 20 minutes early or 5 minutes late. I no longer feel the pang of anxiety every time a professor calls on me.

A metaphor I heard last year compared being a freshmen to a baby T-Rex: We have awkward arms and fumble about trying to find our balance. But by the time we leave campus, we’ve become the king of the dinosaurs, and the  smaller dinos looks up to us.

You best run while you can, ’cause the T-Rex is comin’.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Mike Briggs #

    I really enjoyed this piece. It made me think of a similar situation I had…getting used to a new atmosphere. But it was not as a Freshman at PSU but as an E-1, brand new enlisted sailor, in the US Navy. I was 19, fresh out of Hillsboro High School, and it was April 21, 1971. I did not want to be there…but it was my first real decision I had to make in my life. I spent four years, to the day, re-living that decision I made.

    Now, many years later–I am glad I made the decision I did. I would not be the person I am today, had it not been for those four long and lonely years away from home, away from the normality of a childhood–to the chaos of a military life.

    Sink or swim took on a whole new meaning…

    Thanks Katie for your great piece.

    October 3, 2012

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