Induction Day

Today was my induction day at university. I coped with being in the canteen (which was mobbed) and eating in front of other people better than I thought I would. My arms and legs were shaking quite a lot at first but I managed to keep the anxious thoughts somewhat in check. I was just constantly trying to counteract them: “No one is staring at you”, “Probably no one is noticing your shaking and they likely wouldn’t think much of it if they did”, “People probably aren’t thinking badly about you – they don’t even know you”, etc. My initial thought on seeing just how busy the canteen was that I’d have a panic attack, or at least come close to it so I’m quite pleased that I managed both there and in the lecture theatres and was fine. I spent the night before last year’s induction day crying and not being able to sleep due to anxiety (pathetic as that might sound) so I’m also glad that I was a lot more calm this time.

The one thing that always gets to me on induction days is that I always seem to be the only person who is there alone. It kind of hurts to see everyone else in their friendship groups and hear them talking about all the great things they got up to over the summer. It makes me feel like an alien. Just being in the lecture theatre/ lab rooms with lots of other people made me feel really anxious. I really wish I could just talk to people there and make friends, but of course, I’m too apprehensive and scared of rejection to do that. I kind of feel like a freak in that I’m now in my third year and don’t know anyone on my course. I haven’t seen JW yet and probably won’t have any classes with her as she is doing a different route. I don’t know if she would talk to me anyway – we haven’t spoken in months. I know it sounds bad but I don’t really want to talk to her anyway. I can’t really explain why. It’s not her. I suppose it is just my anxiety/ avoidance issues. I don’t know what my problem is.

I’m already getting stressed out about various things on my course. Going part-time was definitely the best option for me but I think I will still struggle. There is a dissertation to do for one of my modules this trimester and I’ve to have decided on a topic (within reason, it can be on anything related to animal biology) in the next week and a half. The written component of the coursework always stresses me out, probably more than it should. I put myself under so much pressure to get it ‘perfect’, I suppose. I’m also extremely worried about the group work, residential field trip, and group presentation that I will have to do in front of 60+ this semester. From what I’ve read, participation in discussions in tutorials is also an assessed part of one of the modules. I’m not sure how I’m going to cope. I’m going to see my GP soon to see about beta blockers. I really hope that they will help because I honestly can’t see myself managing without them. Yes, I did a presentation in front of 50 or so people before, but that was at summer school, which was only for 7 weeks. If I have a panic attack (I will have a panic attack if I don’t have the beta blockers) I will have to deal with the same people and their judgement about it for the next 2-3 years. And the terror from the panic attack during the other presentation that I gave was such that I honestly felt like I was going to die or pass out. How I do in the upcoming presentation will form a large part of my final grade for the module. I can’t really afford to mess it up. But my presentation skills are terrible. I’m very, very worried about it indeed. I think it will involve many sleepless nights. Bring on the stress…

 

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4 Responses to Induction Day

  1. Really glad I found your blog. I know exactly how you are feeling! I get awful panic attacks in social occasions, especially when it comes to eating out. When it happens to me though I’m really sick which is a nightmare because as soon as I get nervous I have to try not to be sick…which makes me feel sick even more. It’s an absolute nightmare! 😦 As for presentations, all you can do is try your best. I’m the same with them, I get so sick and I can’t eat about a day or so before because I’m so nervous and anxious.. but once it’s over I feel much better. Try having a word with your tutor and ask if you can go first. I did that last term as I found it much easier to walk in and do it straight away rather than sitting around panicking whilst others did theirs. Good luck! x

    • Gemma says:

      It must be horrible feeling so sick when you’re anxious. 😦 Have you found anything that’s helped? I’m going to see my GP soon about going on beta blockers or another type of anti-anxiety medication. I’m hoping that it will help with the presentation. Going first is probably a good idea. I’ll see if the tutors will allow my group to go first. Thanks.

      • Yeah definitely. I haven’t really found anything to really help, but I am on anti anxiety medication and am having counselling at the moment to try and help. I saw you had counselling, has that helped you at all? Sorry to hear you are bad with it, but just remember you’re never alone even if it does feel that way 🙂 x

  2. Gemma says:

    Thanks. Counselling sometimes makes me feel better, but it generally hasn’t improved anything in terms of my anxiety. Most of the professionals that I’ve seen over the years haven’t been very helpful overall. I’m pretty much trying to do it all on my own at the moment. Which anti-anxiety medication/s are you on? Have those helped, along with counselling?

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