I had my first day at university this week. Though I'm fortunate enough to not get nervous with things like starting at a new job or public speaking, the night before I was extremely edgy about the whole thing. Because this never happens to me, I began to question why I was nervous and really, what there was to be afraid of. It's a university, not a maze with crazed gunman and axe-wielding maniacs that you have to escape from.
I found my answer in my lecture for International Politics. The lecturer asked us to talk to people around us and answer the questions he suggested. One of them was "Why are you nervous about beginning university?" In my little group, I was the first person to be asked the question and literally the single thing that popped into my head and I blurted out before I could think rationally about it was "Because I don't want to look like a dumb shit." Everyone laughed and a few others confessed that they were also silently freaking out that they wouldn't be able to complete the simplest of tasks because "it's university" and therefore you're "competing with the best".
To me, my "fear" of being a complete dullard is slightly bizarre. I don't have a problem public speaking, making friends or standing up for myself or others but I'm silently urging myself to be intelligent and not to screw it up. When I say 'intelligent', I don't mean in an "I know everything therefore I am the best" sort of competitive way, I mean 'intelligent' as in being able to write a decent and comprehensible piece of writing and have a thorough understanding of what's being discussed in lectures and tutorials.
We all want to excel in our chosen paths, but how much do we let this weigh into our psyche? Should we all (me) just take a chill pill and calm the eff down?
Does anyone else share the same "I don't want to be mentally challenged kthnxbai" woes that I do, or am I truly an example of natural selection? Tell me about your experiences at a new job, school or university. x
photo by crazyfrogleg