New Year, New Changes

First of all, hello again, Empty Little Spaces! It’s been quite a while since my last post. I sort of slacked off during Winter Break and spent quite a bit of time with my good ol’ pal, Netflix, and my good friends up in Arendelle, Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Sven, and Kristoff…

(Yeah, I saw Frozen twice during the break. Call me obsessed. I’ll probably be making dumb little Frozen puns in the next few posts.)

Anyway, it’s a new year, and a new quarter at UCSD, and for the first time in forever (I PROMISE THAT WASN’T A FROZEN REFERENCE. This was unintentional, I swear), I feel like I’m going to enjoy all four of the classes I’m taking. Heck, I’ve had good schedules in the past, but this time, I truly feel like I’m going to really get into these courses! I’m taking How to Read a Film (for my frickin’ major, whoo!), Writing Poetry (for my pending literature/writing minor), South Korean Film and History of Pop Culture (for a general education credit, but fun sounding nonetheless), and Volcanoes (again, for an easy general education science credit–but my professor sounds so enthusiastic and passionate about the topic, so I am pretty pumped).

In addition to enjoying to my classes and really focusing even more this quarter than the last (which ended with a bang, holla), I have given myself the task of actually participating and contributing to lecture discussions. I do talk in sections, as they’re merely comprised of the TA and about 14/15 other students from lecture, but speaking up in a lecture hall is actually hell for me. I tend to get extremely anxious, tense up and over think my answers, fearing that I’ll totally screw up and look like a complete idiot in front of 100+ other students in the hall and the professor.

It was easy in high school, because I knew the people around me and the setting was just more comfortable and intimate in the way that it was a class of 20 students or less. However, college is a whole new ball game, and it’s a very daunting ball game at that.

It’s difficult, and boy, do I regret not speaking up a lot these past few quarters. I mean, I can’t control it, it’s a natural reaction (especially for me, and I know there are people who agree) to get really anxious when speaking in front of large crowds. I can sing, act, and do a whole bunch of hoopla on stage in front of people, but I can’t give my own input in a class of 100+ students and an adult. And personally, to me, it’s kind of sad. And it sucks. What’s even worse is when I have a full-on articulate answer in my head, and because I am scared of saying that answer out loud because of my anxiety, I don’t say it–AND SOMEONE ELSE GETS CALLED ON AND SAYS WHAT I WAS THINKING. It drives me up the wall. It makes me angry at myself. It ain’t cool, man, it ain’t cool. Well, it’s pretty rad that someone else in the class and I are on the same wavelength, but dammit, I wanted to give the answer (but no. I gave into sitting idle in my seat, mind in overdrive, body tense and eyes down. It ain’t cool).

This quarter, I’m planning on making a change. Well, this change kind of started already this week. I plan on speaking up more in class, no matter what, because if a professor says “Give your input, and no input is stupid or dumb here,” they frickin’ mean it. The times I actually spoke up in lecture this week in a few of my classes, I felt like I was on top of the world, fighting the great fight and winning. It’s thrilling (in a good way) and so, so exciting.

Just like Sara Bareilles said in her iconic, beautiful song, Brave, Say what you want to say / and let the words fall out / honestly / I wanna see you be brave.” I’m just planning on getting out there and doing just that. I’ve even signed up for a public speaking class (it’s free and on campus! HELL YEAH!).

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