Today was my final day of classes for this semester. I just have a few exams left and then I’m free! It’s hard to believe I’ve already been in college for two years. I can barely believe how much you adjust to the new situation and change the more time you spend at college.
One of the classes I am really going to miss is Dutch class. I just finished the fourth class of the series and now there are sadly no more. This was a unique class not just because it is a rarely taught language, but also because of how it was structured. It was a very small class (only ten people!) and it was the same small group of people and professor for four semesters in a row. That is definitely not something most experience in college. We’re quite a tight group now.
I am very grateful that I chose to take this class and that I stuck with it until the end. I almost didn’t. In all honesty, I almost dropped the class after the first day. My first day of college was very frightening and intimidating, as it is for many. I remember going to this class and feeling so out-of-place. A lot of the students were much older than me and I only had one day of college under my belt. I remember worrying that the class was going to be too hard, wondering if I was smart enough, and thinking I didn’t belong in the class.
But despite this anxiety and wanting to run away from it, I made a choice. I went back for the second day of class.
The next day I made a choice again. I went back for the third day. And then the fourth, the fifth, the sixth, until gradually the class became less frightening. I started to get to know the other students. I took my first exam and did just fine. My confidence began to grow and going to class quickly changed from being frightening to being the highlight of my day.
Reflecting back on this now makes me incredibly glad that I stuck it out, and also a little proud of myself. I’ve learned a new language, learned about the culture and history of a country, and have also gotten to know some wonderful people. Dutch class will definitely be an experience from college I remember years from now.
So here’s my advice to you if you are feeling afraid and want to run away and hide from the fear.
Stick it out.
I know you can do it. The fear won’t go away immediately, but I promise it will eventually, and then you will have made it. All rewarding experiences are worth the initial fear.
P.S. Here is a great TED Talk about achievement, feeling like you “belong,” and feeling powerful.