Today is the end of the second week of classes and this morning, I had a very interesting experience.

In my first and second subjects, we had these discussions. My professors encourage students to participate in the discussion and contribute their own thoughts. And people really talked a lot in both subjects! At first, I did not know why I found that so stressful. But well, I just realized that I still haven’t outgrown my shyness when it comes to recitations and class discussions. I don’t even think I can call it shyness. It’s more like an inhibition. I don’t like speaking up when there’s a discussion going on. I don’t think my opinion is needed. And I just hate it when I make mistakes. I think that’s really one of my biggest flaws. I hate making mistakes. I hate bothering my classmates with my recitation answers when they could be spending time listening to the right answer, provided of course by the professor. I don’t like asking questions too. I’ve encountered teachers in grade school who seriously hate it when students ask questions, so I think it just stuck with me that I shouldn’t ask questions and should just let the teacher talk. It’s also annoying how my professors single me out every time because of my performance in recitations. I don’t know if it’s because I’m doing well or if it’s because of my seemingly stupid questions.

I tried talking to people about this, and this morning I talked to my best friend/boyfriend, who is seriously one of the smartest and most insightful people I’ve ever met in the university (no, really). I told him that I’m just not used to speaking in front of many people and it’s embarrassing if I say the wrong things. Well, he said making mistakes is part of learning and regarding the speaking part, he said I wouldn’t have gotten a high grade in speech class if I wasn’t good at what I was doing. But come to think of it, I only got to pull off my speeches because I looked and acted like I knew what I was doing. I’m obviously not the most confident person in the world but that’s how I pull off most of my speeches. I ACT. Haha my dad told me the same thing once when I talked to him. People only see what’s outside, so if I looked like I knew what I’m talking about, they’re going to listen to me and if I make a mistake, who cares? He said it’s just like when I’m performing onstage. He knows that the stage is my home, I don’t feel intimidated when I’m on it. He’s seen me perform a lot of times and he told me that he could see that when I’m onstage, I don’t show any sign of nervousness or shyness and even if there are so many people better than me, I show people that I matter. And when I make a mistake, they don’t even notice. My boyfriend agrees, and tells me that I should treat the classroom as my stage if I get the jitters. Really corny, but it might work.

I need to have good grades this term, and I think I’ll do better if I start believing in myself. I’m really scared. If you have other things to help me achieve this, please tell me! I would love to read your opinions! 🙂


  1. I remember, I used to be like that when I was still in high school. I somewhat overcome the shyness and the jitters of talking in front of a the class when I reached college since most of my subjects aren’t the typical stiff class type. I remember, one professor asked us to make our own jiggles (I was an advertising major) and have to sing it in front or else we’d get a failing mark.

    I think it’s actually helpful that your professors encourage you to speak up because it helps shy students like you to eventually overcome the shyness because when you’re working already, you can’t tell your boss that you’re shy to present, right? I know you’d eventually overcome that shyness! 🙂

  2. I think there’s nothing wrong with a student’s asking questions here and there. It’s a sign of curiosity (but in some cases, it’s a sign of…well…the student is just simply asking for attention). The professor/teacher is no longer the sage on stage anymore. Speaking is more like a full-blown performance. It can make or break a person. Jitters are there when possible. Even the most experienced of performers get a dose of them at times.
    Just a tip, it’s more of a “learning by doing” kind of thing. With people around you to help, the feeling of uneasiness will leave you.
    Do your best!

  3. We had speech class before and I guess I experienced the same. I’m personally better with speeches rather than on the spot recitation. It’s quite different between the school base setting vs the others. I find the school base very hard. Good luck!

  4. I’m kind of the same! I’m actually quite open during class discussions, but I am unable to talk about my feelings in a more personal level. Hahaha! I wish I could be able to overcome this as well. It’s just adding unnecessary stress on my relationships with my friends! I’m slowly starting to speak out more though, and it’s good to know that you’re trying your best in your own way too 🙂 Here’s hoping we succeed soon enough!

  5. I don’t like recitations too and same as you, I don’t volunteer to answer XD I prefer being called and then I give my answer. Although I love talking and sharing, in a way, when it’s English, i’m having a hard time expressing myself. But I’m fine if it’s Filipino XD Lelz~ well I guess we just need to keep on practicing because this is one way of interacting with others 🙂

  6. For me, I overcame my shyness by researching the topic beforehand, by knowing the material, thus being able to actually participate in the conversation. I was really lazy and stupid when I first started college, I didn’t do a damn thing. Of course it would be difficult for me to join in when I knew nothing. Of course I would feel ashamed when I said something wrong. But then I started “studying” beforehand, and I felt like I contributed something meaningful to the class discussion. However, if the topic was on the fly, I was screwed D:

    You should share your opinions, they are never unwanted. It’s good for people to hear other people’s opinions, and a lot of times in class discussions I’ve been in, a lot of opinions were actually built upon by others, so even if your opinion feels “incomplete,” someone else (as well as the professor) can expand on it and make it seem valid (they should, of course, graciously give you credit)

    Participating was definitely something I had panic attacks about, so I understand. I’d recommend slowly participating, and each class, just increase the amount of participation you’d give. Your bf is right, making mistakes is part of learning and honestly, your comments will be a hit or a miss, but don’t let that deter you. Don’t feel embarrassed, cause everyone makes mistakes. No one else will remember your mistakes, they only remember their own cause everyone is focused on their “ego,” so just go for it 🙂

  7. Thanks!
    I don’t like such modules too. But it helps if you share your opinions before you think much. Sometimes the more I think about what I am going to say and how much it can benefit me in class discussions, the more scared I become and ended up not saying anything. Of course, don’t say irrelevant things or make a fool of yourself.
    Making mistakes is normal. You need failures before you can see success. After all, no one is perfect and get to enjoy success all the time…

  8. The best tip on delivering good speeches: Act comfortable and confident even if you’re not.

    Good luck with this term! 🙂

  9. I remember when I used to be that shy too before but then I’ve learned that being shy wont get you anywhere.. Mine was worse, coz it’s like on one of my photoshoots.. lol the photographer told me that being shy wont take you to places.. Confidence also makes a girl sexy and yes, you just need to believe in yourself..

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