College Commentary · Personal

Academic Assistance | Adventures Of Shy Girl

Sometimes when I’m sitting in class I become overwhelmed. My head starts to spin and all of these thoughts come flying at me without much warning. Focusing transforms into trying to pin the tail on the donkey, after your friends have spun you ’round and ’round. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on where the butt is, the furniture from across the room enters your view even though you haven’t turned around. As far as I know, there’s no way to stop this besides just letting it happen. Sitting/laying down helps but that still doesn’t stop the ceiling from twirling.

I’m getting dizzy and nauseous just thinking about all of that. That’s basically what having anxiety in class is like. Just when you start to focus on what’s being said an intrusive thought comes bursting through the door like an uninvited party guest.

Needless to say, some days I find it really hard to focus on lectures. Which is a HUGE problem! I am what educators would call an auditory learner. Which means that although I can also learn by reading and sometimes prefer it, in some subjects; like math, history, and computer science, I learn by listening.

In high school, whenever I took tests in history or math it wasn’t the board or the textbook that I was remembering, rather it was my teacher’s voice, the way it changed as they gave their lectures and the examples they used. This also included remembering when teachers would make jokes, create grand arm gestures, and repeat concepts. That’s what got me through countless exams in high school and in college.

With an increase in my mood, I’ve also been experiencing a surprising amount of anxiety. Usually my mood and anxiety have an inverse relationship: when my mood is low – my anxiety is high; when my mood is high – my anxiety is low.

What I’m trying to get at is that I’ve recognized the need to get academic assistance. If I can’t focus in class, I won’t learn. There were many ways to approach this; I could increase my medication, I could increase counseling, or I could go to the AccessAbility services at my school for help, and yes. That’s how they spell it here even though it’s incredibly wrong. I was really surprised when I walked in there to go over the plan they had created for me, to find that they had agreed that recording lectures would be beneficial. They handed me a smartpen, or Echo, and some paperwork(because there is always paperwork) and I was good to go. The smart pen will record lectures for me and upload them to an application on my computer, where the notes I take while recording will also show up.

I’m excited to see how this will affect my level of anxiety and understanding of the material being discussed in class. Besides that, school has been going relatively well and most of my time is spent studying and doing homework.

Until next time,

~K.D.

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