Christian Youth & Young Adults

"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."


Christian Youth & Young Adults

If you've ever felt nervous about speaking out in your college classroom, then rest assured that you are not alone. Most students feel anxious at the thought of raising their hand and asking a question or making a comment about the course material. Getting over this fear, however, can be immensely beneficial for your academic career.

 

Colleges are increasingly fostering a sense of anonymity with large class sizes, online components, and fewer in-depth discussions about the course material at the undergraduate level. The problem with this model is that students are receiving lower and lower levels of individual attention. Asking questions and contributing to class discussions is one of the best ways to make sure that your questions are answered and that you adequately engage with the course material.

 

So back to the problem of knowing that you should raise your hand and speak up, but being too afraid to do it. Perhaps you are afraid that other students, and maybe even the professor themselves, will think that what you have to say is stupid or irrelevant. If this is your main concern, then it is crucial to remember that, unless you are purposefully going out of your way to goof around, no question is ever a bad question.

 

When you raise a question or a concern in class it is highly likely that you are giving voice to something that several other students are thinking but are too nervous to say. They will be very happy that someone else stepped up and took the initiative. The professor will likewise be relieved that someone is showing enough interest in the course to speak up, no matter what you have to say. Professors are there to teach, not to silently laugh at students for not knowing as much about the subject as they do.

 

Perhaps you aren't concerned about coming off looking silly, and are simply too nervous about the very act of speaking up. Many people are uncomfortable with the idea that all eyes and ears in the room will momentarily fall on them. You may not be thrilled to hear it, but the only way to get over this fear is to face it head on and to just do it. Once you give it a try and see that nothing bad comes of having a few seconds of the class' attention, you will be much more likely to do it again. The fear of public speaking is a strong one, but it is also one of the easiest fears to overcome through exposure.

 

The trick is to see your momentary fear in the grand scheme of your life and to realize how insignificant it is. You are intelligent, capable, and worthy of getting your questions answered. You are loved by God and you can rest assured that He will never task you with more than you can handle. If you need some extra inspiration before taking a deep breath and raising your hand, then just remember these words of encouragement from 1 Peter 5:10:

 

"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."