The Anxiety of Public Speaking

The Anxiety of Public Speaking

Terrifying, maybe. Possible, absolutely.
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Hands sweating. Heart pumping out of your chest. Legs shaking. Stomach churning.

All of these are examples of what happens when you are absolutely terrified of speaking in front of your class full of people you barely know or don't know at all.

I set my phone on the podium with a timer set for four minutes- can't go over that time limit. I set up my PowerPoint presentation on the board in order for some of the attention to be taken off of me. I look up after trying to get myself to stop shaking and get my heart rate back down to a normal. My professor looks at me and says "Ready when you are!"

Here we go. Here goes nothing! I practiced last night. I know what I'm talking about it. It's easy. Pretend that you are talking to family. Share your story. Heck, no one's listening to you anyways because they're either asleep or worrying about their own speech.

Deep breath. "Hi everyone, my name is Elizabeth Finto. I'm a sophomore here at UMW and I'm originally from Richmond, Virginia." Okay, slow down, take another deep breath and start talking about your family.

I look around the room and see my friends smiling at me. Hey! I'm not shaking anymore.

Four minutes pass, and I'm done! What a relief!

Although I am absolutely terrified of public speaking, I know it is something that will take me very far in life. I mean, I am a communications and digital studies major. I better know how to communicate. In my career, I will have to give speeches or write articles, etc.

I enjoy speaking about what I am passionate about. It is just something about twenty-four pairs of eyes staring at you that makes it seem like climbing Mt. Everest.

Public speaking is a class that everyone should take in high school or college. You will use it in any career you choose. Whether it be talking on the phone for hours a day or being the manager of a company. It is like learning the alphabet or understanding how to solve math problems. Sometimes it is difficult, but something you have to know how to do.

This is not to say that public speaking is easy for everyone. Absolutely not. Some can give a speech without a problem, and others would rather do anything else. I fall under the category of wishing I could just write a paper, and that count as a speech.

You have a voice, use it whether to voice political opinions or how a situation makes you feel.

Cover Image Credit: Huffington Post

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To High School Seniors In Their Last Semester

Senior year moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
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Dammit, you made it. The final semester of your senior year. You’re at the top of the food chain of high school, and it feels so good. You’re probably praying this last semester flies by, that you get out of town as soon as possible.

At this point, you’re calling teachers by their first names, the entire staff knows you by name, and you’re walking around school standing tall, owning those hallways. You’re convinced you’re ready to leave and move on to the next chapter in your life.

You’ve already experienced your last football game, standing in the cold in the front row of the student section all season long, decked out in your school colors and cheering loud and proud. That is, until they lost, and you realized you will never have that experience again. Never again.

SEE ALSO: What I Wish I Knew As A Second-Semester High School Senior

You already had your last winter break. Preparing and celebrating the holidays with your family, ice skating and sledding with your best friends. Those quiet nights alone in your room watching Netflix, taking for granted your loved ones just a few rooms away. Never again.

If you’re an athlete, you may have already played in your last game or ran your last race. The crowd cheering, proudly wearing your school’s name across your chest, giving it your all. For some, it may be the end of your athletic career. Before you knew it, you were standing in an empty gym, staring up at the banners and thinking about the mark you left on your school, wondering where on earth the time went. Never again.

I’m telling you right now, you’re going to miss it all. Everything you’ve ever known. Those early mornings when you debate going to first hour because you really need those McDonald’s hash browns. The late nights driving home from practice, stopping for ice cream of course, ready for a late night of homework. Getting food on a whim with your friends. Endless fights with your siblings. Your favorite chips in the pantry. A fridge full of food. Coming home to and getting tackled by your dog. Driving around your hometown, passing the same sights you’ve seen every day for as long as you can remember. Hugs from your mom after a long day. Laughs with your dad. And that best friend of yours? You’re going to miss them more than anything. I’m telling you right now, nothing will ever be the same. Never again.

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl That Enjoyed High School

Before you start packing your bags, slow down, take a deep breath, and look around. You’ve got it pretty good here. The end of your senior year can be the time of your life; it’s truly amazing. So go to the winter dance, go to Prom, spend Senior Skip Day with your classmates, go to every sporting event you can, while you still can. College is pretty great, but it’s the little things you’re gonna miss the most. Don’t take it for granted because soon, you’ll be standing in a packed gym in your cap and gown, wondering where the heck the time went. You’ve got a long, beautiful life ahead of you, full of joy but also full of challenges. You’re going to meet so many wonderful people, people who will treat you right and people who won’t.


So, take it all in. Be excited for the future and look forward to it, but be mindful of the present. You’ve got this.
Cover Image Credit: Hartford Courant

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4 Insightful Quotes From 'The Alchemist' That Will Resonate With People Who Want To Follow Their Dreams

Paulo Coelho's famed coming-of-age novel continues to inspire readers today with following their dreams.

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In "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho, a young boy named Santiago embarks on a life-changing journey to find a hidden treasure in the pyramids of Egypt and learns the importance of following one's destiny along the way. Since its release in the 1990s, "The Alchemist" has captivated people all over the world, including TV personality Oprah Winfrey and actor Will Smith.

With its powerful messages of love and gratitude, here are some of the most insightful quotes from the novel that will resonate with those who want to find and pursue their purpose in life.

1. “When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”

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On his journey, Santiago learns that love exists as a universal language in the world. When people follow their dreams and passions, they are driven by the power of love. With this power, one can guide themselves on the path to finding their own treasure and accomplishing their goals. Actively shaping your destiny through love can also positively improve how you perceive everything around you.

2. “When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.”

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Too often people live their days accustomed to routine and consistency. When you begin treating each day as a new day full of opportunities and find time to appreciate the good things, you start seeing the beauty of life. This importance of practicing gratitude serves as a reminder to the world that life is fleeting, and we must strive to always make the best and see the best of our situations.

3. “And, when you can't go back, you have to worry only about the best way of moving forward.”

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Throughout their lives, people will make mistakes and have regrets, and we will often spend days wondering what we could've done differently. We forget that we can't change the past and that the only thing that matters is how we move forward in the present day. So let go of past mistakes and regrets, and focus on how you can improve the present.

4. “The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.”

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In the novel, Santiago hears a story of a man who wanted to learn the secret of happiness from a wise king. The king told the man to walk around his palace holding a spoon full of oil and making sure not to spill it. After successfully doing so, he returns to the king and he asks if the man had seen all the beauty of his castle, which he ignored in his quest to keep the oil on the spoon. When following our dreams, we must not lose sight of appreciating all the wonders of life along the way; after all, it's not about the destination, but the journey.

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