Uni life during COVID-19 and social anxiety

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Becca_studiesxo
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Hi guys, I don’t know If a lot of people will be able to relate to this, but as someone who experiences social anxiety in a classroom setting PRE covid, finding the courage to participate in these stilted video calls on Microsoft team classrooms is very challenging.

I know it’s just me in my room but to speak on a mic for 30-50 people listening to my voice is even more nerve wracking than in person. I’m a Scottish student and just finished my HND at College this past year and now the end of this year I have started 3rd year university in the course social sciences at aberdeen.

I feel so sad and frustrated with myself because I love my course and the topics we cover. Sometimes I have a lot to say but I can’t get involved because my nerves win over. I so badly want to get involved and I wish this could happen on campus however due to covid everything is online so instead of sharing flat with new people and meeting new friends in Aberdeen I’m stuck miles away and I can’t even see the faces of people on my course because we all keep our cameras off.

I feel this makes how I feel worse. I feel isolated and anxious on a seminar. At the start it was okay I spoke a bit and introduced myself made chit chat but now I’m like stuck in this cycle I can’t get out of.

Anyone relate and have a shared experience? Or is there anyone out there who is particularly good at overcoming this and can share advice?

Anything Other than your average born confident ‘just speak?’ Philosophy cause I am growing tired of that lol.
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(Original post by Becca_studiesxo)
Hi guys, I don’t know If a lot of people will be able to relate to this, but as someone who experiences social anxiety in a classroom setting PRE covid, finding the courage to participate in these stilted video calls on Microsoft team classrooms is very challenging.

I know it’s just me in my room but to speak on a mic for 30-50 people listening to my voice is even more nerve wracking than in person. I’m a Scottish student and just finished my HND at College this past year and now the end of this year I have started 3rd year university in the course social sciences at aberdeen.

I feel so sad and frustrated with myself because I love my course and the topics we cover. Sometimes I have a lot to say but I can’t get involved because my nerves win over. I so badly want to get involved and I wish this could happen on campus however due to covid everything is online so instead of sharing flat with new people and meeting new friends in Aberdeen I’m stuck miles away and I can’t even see the faces of people on my course because we all keep our cameras off.

I feel this makes how I feel worse. I feel isolated and anxious on a seminar. At the start it was okay I spoke a bit and introduced myself made chit chat but now I’m like stuck in this cycle I can’t get out of.

Anyone relate and have a shared experience? Or is there anyone out there who is particularly good at overcoming this and can share advice?

Anything Other than your average born confident ‘just speak?’ Philosophy cause I am growing tired of that lol.
Hello there!

Yep, this has been me my entire life, and I'm not even good in classroom settings either, let alone over a video call. In a way this would be my dream come true, because you can just sit and hide behind your computer screen if you don't feel like contributing and nobody will see how uncomfortable you are haha! I also hate people that tell me to 'man up and just speak'

In your case it's upsetting because you like to get involved and I guess it helps you to learn. How long have you been at uni for? Because it may take time but eventually you may find that adrenaline takes over and you just go for it, and this can take some time. Instead, you could try creating a facebook group for your class to talk about what's been happening/your work, and try to feel a bit more comfortable around them before you start contributing so it feels as though you're talking with friends rather than strangers you've never met?
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hallamstudents
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(Original post by Becca_studiesxo)
Hi guys, I don’t know If a lot of people will be able to relate to this, but as someone who experiences social anxiety in a classroom setting PRE covid, finding the courage to participate in these stilted video calls on Microsoft team classrooms is very challenging.

I know it’s just me in my room but to speak on a mic for 30-50 people listening to my voice is even more nerve wracking than in person. I’m a Scottish student and just finished my HND at College this past year and now the end of this year I have started 3rd year university in the course social sciences at aberdeen.

I feel so sad and frustrated with myself because I love my course and the topics we cover. Sometimes I have a lot to say but I can’t get involved because my nerves win over. I so badly want to get involved and I wish this could happen on campus however due to covid everything is online so instead of sharing flat with new people and meeting new friends in Aberdeen I’m stuck miles away and I can’t even see the faces of people on my course because we all keep our cameras off.

I feel this makes how I feel worse. I feel isolated and anxious on a seminar. At the start it was okay I spoke a bit and introduced myself made chit chat but now I’m like stuck in this cycle I can’t get out of.

Anyone relate and have a shared experience? Or is there anyone out there who is particularly good at overcoming this and can share advice?

Anything Other than your average born confident ‘just speak?’ Philosophy cause I am growing tired of that lol.
Hi Becca_studiesxo,

I totally relate to group call anxiety so you're not alone here! I think a lot of people are experiencing the same as you as well, I know I've definitely been on calls where it's taken a while for myself and the rest of the group to speak on the call. Often I find that when one person puts on their camera, others will follow- if you're feeling up to it I would encourage this as it really helps you feel more together as a group. If not, why not try some of these things below? They tend to work for me

Have you tried typing out your contributions instead of speaking on the call? If not, this could be a good starting point as people tend to be more confident typing than speaking.

Another thing you could try is switching off speaker view and putting the screen on grid view? This will make it feel less intense as when someone talks they won't be made big on the screen so it might ease the pressure a little. Also, remember when someone is sharing their screen, it's less obvious who is speaking on the call, so this could be a good time to contribute

I've found that having a seminar group chat on Facebook or Whatsapp can help with this! If I'm weary of contributing something in the main seminar, I'll drop a message in the group chat and often people will be thinking along the same lines which gives me the confidence to contribute on the call. It also takes a little bit of the pressure off as on a group chat the tutor isn't there so there's less embarrassment if I'm a little wrong. Having a group chat like this has also helped me keep in touch and get to know my course mates a little better, so in the long run it might help ease the anxiety of contributing on a call.

I read somewhere that listening to music through headphones but having the group call audio play through the computer speakers can make speaking on calls feel a little more comfortable as it feels like there's more background noise. I haven't actually tried this one myself, but I can see the logic behind it!

I hope this helps! What course are you studying?

Lucy
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Becca_studiesxo
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Hi! I wasn’t expecting replies on this so I’m really grateful for this feedback haha. It’s so nice to feel understood like my boyfriend is at uni aswell online and he just gets on with it and can talk to anyone and have banter with total strangers it makes me feel so inadequate.

I’ve been at college for 2 years and this year is technically my first year at uni but I’ve went into third year cause of the 2 year boost from college grades. So yeah I think that makes it even worse as there’s only 17 advanced entry students and the rest already know eachother from first year of uni.

Yeah I never thought in creating a FB group that would actually help loads. I’ll definitely try this - Thanks so much! What uni are you at?
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Becca_studiesxo
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Hey hallamstudents

Thanks so much for your suggestions

I’ve been typing on calls instead of speaking and it does help as atleast I’m contributing in some way but in my experience the people in my group are quite confident just speaking out there’s usually 2-3 people who will just start speaking to eachother and dominate the conversation- they’re not really looking at the side bar. But yeah in some groups it’s definetly you more productive aswell as you just cut out the awkward small talk and can get on with the group questions or whatever task you have to do.

I’ve never thought about trying music - I’m gonna try this this morning I can see it helping boost confidence aswell or atleast take away that stilted silence that happens haha there’s acc nothing worse in these calls than when everyone’s looking at their screens in silence haha

Yeah I’ll definitely try group chat aswell thankyou!

Also I’m studying BA social sciences (psychology, sociology) at Aberdeen - what about you?

Becca
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hallamstudents
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(Original post by Becca_studiesxo)
Hey hallamstudents

Thanks so much for your suggestions

I’ve been typing on calls instead of speaking and it does help as atleast I’m contributing in some way but in my experience the people in my group are quite confident just speaking out there’s usually 2-3 people who will just start speaking to eachother and dominate the conversation- they’re not really looking at the side bar. But yeah in some groups it’s definetly you more productive aswell as you just cut out the awkward small talk and can get on with the group questions or whatever task you have to do.

I’ve never thought about trying music - I’m gonna try this this morning I can see it helping boost confidence aswell or atleast take away that stilted silence that happens haha there’s acc nothing worse in these calls than when everyone’s looking at their screens in silence haha

Yeah I’ll definitely try group chat aswell thankyou!

Also I’m studying BA social sciences (psychology, sociology) at Aberdeen - what about you?

Becca
Let me know if the music thing works!

I'm studying Marketing and Advertising in my third year as well

Lucy
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