The Anxiety of Public Speaking

The Anxiety of Public Speaking

Terrifying, maybe. Possible, absolutely.

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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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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Summer And Jobs

Working summers doesn't have to be tedious.


Like many other college students, I was ready for summer but was kinda bummed that I had to work. Its not that I didn't like where I was working, I actually was really lucky to be working in a hospital environment but I just hated being alone all summer from 9-5. I've had this job for a few years now and a few other paid interns came and went but I never really connected with any of them. This year is different though.

I got really lucky to have another intern work with me that was very similar to me. The tasks we got were always simple but they were made to be more fun because I got to do them while talking with someone else. Now I actually enjoy and look forward to going to work.

The key to finding a good job is finding one that you enjoy doing and one that will help you gain knowledge that will help you out with future career plans. Working with friends also make tasks enjoyable! I would be careful with working with your friend however because if your job needs you to be serious and focused, being around your best friends may distract you from that.

Another thing that definitely makes summer jobs more enjoyable are taking breaks! It is your summer vacation after all! I'm not saying don't take a day off just to sit around, but if you make plans with family and friends, take a Friday off and enjoy the warm weather and good company! Employers understand that us college students and on break and have lives, they are usually very lenient with days off!

If you have to do a summer job to make money to live off of or pay for college, the best thing to do is look at the big picture. If you don't enjoy your job but can't afford to quit, remember that the money if going to help you out a lot. Also, this job is probably only for the summer right? So it's not permanent my friend! Get through these annoying few weeks and you will be back at college, taking steps for a bigger and brighter future.

Summer jobs are tough, I know, but make the most of it! And don't forget to enjoy it whenever you can!!!


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