Fear, self-doubt, anxiety over upcoming semester
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19-08-2017, 08:33 AM
Fear, self-doubt, anxiety over upcoming semester
Quick information: I'm 26-years-old. I made some mistakes back in 2009 by dropping out of college without properly dropping my classes. Returned to the same community college in 2014 and brought my terrible 1.9 GPA up to a 3.5 as of this year.

I wasted my summer. In the free time I had, I spent much of it dealing with the university I just transferred to, as they gave me the run-around on a few things (sending in forms, taking forever to give me a response, etc.).

I'll be an off-campus student taking these university classes at a building at the community college I just finished at (why drive over an hour away to the university when I can drive 15-18 minutes over to this CC as they offer classes through it?)

I'm extremely nervous and scared to death. I'm taking three classes this semester. One at a time, once a week, in the evening for a three hour class. I'm scared to death because each class only lasts five weeks, and after looking at the modules, I can tell it's going to be insanely rigorous.

The prospect of going through an entire textbook in five weeks is daunting. I know I'm going to have to buckle down. I also know that it's best to read a little bit each day to make a habit and become accustomed to the material. I've been great, for the most part, of not procrastinating over the last year.

But with these classes lasting five weeks each, and all the material being covered, there is no time to procrastinate. Everything has to be sent in timely. There's a quiz and a test each week, done online. Heck, I think there's multiple quizzes each week.

I'm a way better student at age 26 than I ever was back in my high school days. I was a lazy shithead who accepted mediocrity unless I applied myself.

Still, there's self-doubt in the back of my head, screaming at me, "You can't do it. There's no way you can read that much of a boring ol' textbook every week!" but.. I know I have to. The pressure of taking on student loans is another factor. I HAVE to do this. But the self-doubt exists where I'm scared to death that I'm inadequate and can't. I suppose I feel this way due to the unknown of the class.

At the community college I just finished up, I didn't really have to do a lot of reading in my time there. I have no problem with the reading itself... hell, I read all the time in my free time. It's the constant grind of reading multiple chapters every week. I fear that I'll hit a mental brick wall where I just can't grasp the material because my head will be in the clouds.

Another thing that I'm anxiety-riddled over is, we have to do a group project and a presentation week 4. Well.... I'm not worried about the presentation. I'm worried about the prospect of dealing with students who are lazy slackers or just assholes. I haven't had to do a group project since, I guess, 2005, which was my freshmen year of HS.

Any advice? I'd love and appreciate it. I know that action cures fear. I've busted my ass the last few years and I don't want it to be all for not!
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19-08-2017, 08:53 AM
RE: Fear, self-doubt, anxiety over upcoming semester
(19-08-2017 08:33 AM)UndauntedToast Wrote:  Quick information: I'm 26-years-old. I made some mistakes back in 2009 by dropping out of college without properly dropping my classes. Returned to the same community college in 2014 and brought my terrible 1.9 GPA up to a 3.5 as of this year.

I wasted my summer. In the free time I had, I spent much of it dealing with the university I just transferred to, as they gave me the run-around on a few things (sending in forms, taking forever to give me a response, etc.).

I'll be an off-campus student taking these university classes at a building at the community college I just finished at (why drive over an hour away to the university when I can drive 15-18 minutes over to this CC as they offer classes through it?)

I'm extremely nervous and scared to death. I'm taking three classes this semester. One at a time, once a week, in the evening for a three hour class. I'm scared to death because each class only lasts five weeks, and after looking at the modules, I can tell it's going to be insanely rigorous.

The prospect of going through an entire textbook in five weeks is daunting. I know I'm going to have to buckle down. I also know that it's best to read a little bit each day to make a habit and become accustomed to the material. I've been great, for the most part, of not procrastinating over the last year.

But with these classes lasting five weeks each, and all the material being covered, there is no time to procrastinate. Everything has to be sent in timely. There's a quiz and a test each week, done online. Heck, I think there's multiple quizzes each week.

I'm a way better student at age 26 than I ever was back in my high school days. I was a lazy shithead who accepted mediocrity unless I applied myself.

Still, there's self-doubt in the back of my head, screaming at me, "You can't do it. There's no way you can read that much of a boring ol' textbook every week!" but.. I know I have to. The pressure of taking on student loans is another factor. I HAVE to do this. But the self-doubt exists where I'm scared to death that I'm inadequate and can't. I suppose I feel this way due to the unknown of the class.

At the community college I just finished up, I didn't really have to do a lot of reading in my time there. I have no problem with the reading itself... hell, I read all the time in my free time. It's the constant grind of reading multiple chapters every week. I fear that I'll hit a mental brick wall where I just can't grasp the material because my head will be in the clouds.

Another thing that I'm anxiety-riddled over is, we have to do a group project and a presentation week 4. Well.... I'm not worried about the presentation. I'm worried about the prospect of dealing with students who are lazy slackers or just assholes. I haven't had to do a group project since, I guess, 2005, which was my freshmen year of HS.

Any advice? I'd love and appreciate it. I know that action cures fear. I've busted my ass the last few years and I don't want it to be all for not!

Keep the book with you like you keep your cell. Always in view. Especially in the bathroom Smile You will find there are many short times, minutes, when you can open it. What you read in those minutes will stick well because you saw it at an unusual time. If there is a book in audio, listen to it in your car. Even if you are not always listening, stuff will make it's way into your brain.

Exposure, exposure, exposure. The more often your brain goes there, the more will stick.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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19-08-2017, 09:39 AM
RE: Fear, self-doubt, anxiety over upcoming semester
First: of course you'll be able to handle it! It might be reassuring for you to know that many people have beginning-semester anxieties...even your professors.

If I'm reading your OP correctly, these are successive five-week courses and not simultaneous? That is a short time, indeed, but also great because you only have to be obsessed with each topic for a limited time.

Try to reposition the idea of a textbook as something other than boring. Presumably these subjects are of interest and/or value to you, so read with the intent of making use of the information, not just regurgitating it. Read as though you will be explaining each chapter to a smart but ignorant friend who wants to be entertained. And engage other students in conversations about the subject matter as early as you can. That way, you'll know who to group yourself with for the group project. I'm sure there'll be at least a couple of other serious students in the class.
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19-08-2017, 10:22 AM
RE: Fear, self-doubt, anxiety over upcoming semester
Study groups with people from the classes helps.

Flash cards helped me. Especially with anything that had to be outright memorized.

Ask questions. Nobody wants to be the first one to ask a question but oftentimes you'll find that when you ask it, half a dozen other people will immediately make it clear that they were puzzled about the same thing. When a teacher realizes that many people are lost he/she will go back and clarify.

I took one class right after HS because they wouldn't even consider taking me on even as a conditional student without it. It was supposed to be beginner Spanish but I guess it was more immersion-style from the word go and I was lost and miserable. And like you I didn't properly drop out; I just quit going. Fast-forward 14 years to a different (two-year) college full-time. Then went on to a four-year college that had a system that allowed you to take a few classes at a couple of other co-op colleges. I signed up for a class at that first college where I just left without officially dropping out and found that the F they put on me would always transfer back if I took any classes there. So I am REALLY impressed that you stuck it out and got your gpa up despite the old bad grades following you around.

And yeah, I was a waaaaaaaaay better student at 32, 33, 34, 35 than I ever could or would have been at 18-22.

People talk about fear of failure a lot. They don't talk about fear of success. Yeah I know it's weird, but somewhere in my mind I knew that succeeding (after my mediocre HS grades) would bring expectations on the part of my teachers and parents that would add more pressure to succeed in EVERY area. It's like proving the parents right when they always said that you were not stupid, just too stubborn/lazy to apply yourself (I'm speaking for me, not you). Let that be okay. Let yourself be the person kids despise because you are always mucking up the curve. Been there, done that, have the gown for being one of the top two Freshman and getting to serve as Marshall for graduation for the class above me.

Good luck. We are rooting for you!

Where are we going and why am I in this hand basket?
"Life is not all lovely thorns and singing vultures, you know." ~ Morticia Addams
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19-08-2017, 10:31 AM
RE: Fear, self-doubt, anxiety over upcoming semester
I finally made it to college when I was 52 and working full time. I took a few of those 'crash courses' during summer sessions to get credits I needed.

It just became what I did. Work...home to tend to a few things then straight to the studying. I did make sure I set aside some time to not study...a Sunday afternoon in the pool or watching a movie for instance.

I took an insane amount of notes. I did well in all my classes, the short, condensed ones, the quarter-long ones, and the semester long ones.

I wish I could help you on the group projects things...IMO they should be done away with. The chances that everyone is going to pull their weight is small but it may be better with people who are also going full speed in shorter terms.

Good luck! I hope your fears are unfounded.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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19-08-2017, 11:18 AM (This post was last modified: 19-08-2017 11:49 AM by jennybee.)
RE: Fear, self-doubt, anxiety over upcoming semester
I can see how this could feel overwhelming. I've gone through quickie classes like this as well back in my college days. I think the best thing to do is to pace yourself and take each piece as it comes. I also found with the more boring textbook material, reading a page at a time and taking a 5 minute break in between to do something fun (like listening to a favorite song, having a piece of dark chocolate, doing some yoga poses, or whatever you enjoy etc.) helped.

As far as the group presentations, unfortunately there is usually one person who doesn't do anything based on my experience. For the most part though, most people tend to pull their own weight. I think the professor takes all of this into account. And there are benefits to group presentations, in that you don't have to give the presentation all by yourself.

I'm sure you'll do well in your classes. You can do this. You brought your GPA up to a 3.5--so you've already proven you can do it. Smile

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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