I'm not cut out for college
Student Life

To The Freshmen Who Feel Surprisingly Terrified In Class

But, really, this is for everyone who feels unexpectedly intimidated in groups (and in life).

To The Freshmen Who Feel Surprisingly Terrified In Class

There have been multiple times in my educational career when I've felt completely unprepared. Sure, sometimes I genuinely wasn't, because I didn't do this or that reading, and such, but the times I'm really talking about here are the ones you can't genuinely prepare for.

The clearest memories I have of these situations are from some of my history classes during my earlier years in college. I remember listening along in lecture and furiously taking notes to the point of hand cramps, thoroughly enjoying the new information and the concepts mentioned. But then the professor would ask some questions for a bit of discussion.

Now, I have not been, and will not be, shy about my dislike for full-class discussions, not to mention required vocal participation in this context. But, that's another topic for another time.

What effectively blew my mind in that instance were the questions and responses of my fellow classmates. They brought up even more thought-provoking ideas, and seamlessly connected concepts with other lecture examples. It was done to an extent that I had not witnessed or engaged in before.

This might sound trivial or even expected. Like, wow, a student experienced a college classroom setting, congrats. But, it was more than that for me, and it's more than that, I think, for many students out there.

It's hard to be an underclassman, which is definitely an understatement. But, really, think about it. You are experiencing a new place in a new school, surrounded by new and more people, and you're expected to figure out your life really quick. Then suddenly you're in multiple classes with other students of various ages and of various experiences and told to be at the same level.

You're no longer in the same lane as before. Now, you have to figure out how you fit into this class and your overall situation.

Then you're me, sitting in class, wondering how you even got where you are now. Going from feeling proud of actually getting here, to feeling like you don't measure up at all.

It's an unexpected, but valid, identity crisis for students. But, like most things, it does get better.

I don't promise that you will magically connect every argumentative concept into a flawless comment or question for discussion. But, bit-by-bit you will understand what those connections are and why they work.

As a senior undergraduate now, I find myself much more prepared in class, regardless of the variables of assigned readings. I don't speak up in class any more than I did before. Even less if I'm not being forced to. But, I can follow along with lectures and questions with the ability to formulate arguments and ideas that once surprised and shocked me.

And, it's okay if it's not like that for you right now. I never said it's always like that for me.

When you're feeling caught off guard by something in class, there is more than one possible reason why.

In some cases, you just need to give it time. College and majors are designed for you to learn and (in some variation) master a skill. It helps to stop putting the bar too high for yourself.

Another, very important, thing to keep in mind, is that people process information differently. I process a lot internally and through writing. But, some people need to talk it out in order to grasp an understanding for themselves. In this case, what is being said by the assumed genius student, might not even be completely coherent.

Something important I've learned is that just because someone is willing to speak up in class, doesn't mean they're smarter than you, it just means their louder than you.

If some of these ideas and observations seem to contradict each other, I get it. It's difficult to explain how people learn and process. It's a work in progress for education systems in general. But sometimes, feelings and perspectives can overlap, which is the case in this context.

If you are a freshman and you totally understand everything right off the bat and eagerly participate in class discussions, great. That's good for you, and I wish you the best.

But, if anything I've said seems relatable to you, and you are feeling a little intimidated by your classes, don't give up just yet. Things will start to connect the more classes you take and the more time you put in. In whatever school and/or class you're in; you belong there. Just keep your head up.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B just dropped the hottest summer single yet. It's called "WAP" and we're going to get into all the intoxicating lyrics.

This song empowers females and their sexuality. These women put the ridiculous music industry female beef to bed, and I mean tucked away in a coma.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Write Down The Holy Grail Recipe Everyone Begs You To Make

Because everyone has a signature cocktail, cake, or pasta they bring to every potluck.


From back when I used to bring my mom's classic white chocolate chip cookies to preschool on my birthday to now stirring up my signature tequila cocktails at every friends' barbecue, I've always had a couple of standby recipes in my culinary rotation.

Keep Reading... Show less

Meet My Cat: Cheshire, The Stray Turned House Cat Who Lives in Michigan

I never considered myself a cat person, but Chess immediately stole my heart.

Madelyn Darbonne

In 2016, a stray cat gave birth to a litter of three grey kittens on my aunt and uncle's property. I had never considered myself to be much of a cat person, but these furballs immediately stole my heart. I got to watch them grow up until they were old enough to leave their mother's side.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Binge-Watch A TV Show —And Then Write A Review About It

Writing your favorite and least favorite things about a show could not be more fun.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Looking for a new show to binge? Stop scrolling through your options and listen.

Sometimes a good show doesn't come down to the genre or the actors involved, it comes down to the fact that it is simply a GOOD show. If any of these things sound appealing to you, you should definitely watch.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been bleaching my hair since I was in seventh grade. Yes, you read that correctly, seventh grade. That's nearly 10 years of maintaining a very light shade of blonde that too-often brings about dryness and brittle strands.

Keep Reading... Show less

Chances are if you're here, you're probably interested in writing an open letter. Yay! We're excited to have you.

Of course, not all open letters are created equal. In fact, there's a recipe to writing one for Odyssey that'll get featured on one of our many verticals. When it comes to Swoon specifically (for those new around here, that's our dating and relationships vertical), we receive dozens of open letters each month, many of which are all very similar.

Keep Reading... Show less

With a new phone comes great responsibility: Do not break it! And the best way to do that is with a case. However, picking a case can be a challenge. No need to fret, I am here to help break down some of the best cases for the new iPhone SE 2020. Honestly, I think it's going to be impossible to choose!

Keep Reading... Show less

To some who have been out of the dating world for a while, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things after being single for some time. So, I asked 26 people what they think is important to know before looking for love again, here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments