So, as you can tell, I like reflecting on the past. Call me a masochist, or whatever. But I enjoy stirring up memories and emotions from the past that I don’t normally touch on a day-to-day basis. I don’t think it helps alleviate the anxiety per se, but finding the sources helps me to better understand the world I’m living in today–which is a long-term goal of mine.
That said, lately I’ve been reflecting on my time in school, specifically college, because most people I encounter with social anxiety have a lot of problems in classroom settings. I did not however, well not on the surface at least.
Somehow I made it through my undergraduate studies without making one classroom presentation. I took a speech class, but it was on intrapersonal communication. I also chose an objective-based major (business), focusing on the sciences rather than the arts. Those classes relied more on facts than ideas and opinions. I felt fine participating in class discussions because I never had to reveal anything about myself. I could just say a quick fact and the attention would move to someone else.
What’s more, I took five humanities classes, as I minored in Philosophy, and even in those classes, I found ways to not participate. On days where I knew professors would open up the class to discussion, I wouldn’t show up. I had no problem doing the actual work–readings, attending lectures, tests etc–but when it came down to actually sharing how I interpreted something in front of others, I could never do it. The same goes for the other humanities classes I took. It’s really hard for me to admit this, but I have a much stronger interest in the arts, and subjective knowledge in general, than science-based subjects. If I could do everything all over again, I probably would major in Philosophy or English.
Everything I do in life is so dependent on my anxiety. Every time I make a decision, I ask myself, Can I do this? Will my anxiety let me do this? It’s sad to think about how many times I’ve had to do something I don’t really like doing because I’m so hindered by anxiety.
When will it end? Will I ever have control over my life?