I missed out on going to college right after high school. As the years marched on, I began to regret not getting a degree. So, on January 6, 2015, I went to my first class on my way to getting a business degree. I am in an adult accelerated program and attend class is every Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. This is my first day jitters story:
For several nights before my first class, I had the weirdest dreams. I would be wandering around the halls of some nameless school trying to find the right room and never finding anyone to help me. Or I would be driving around, lost and thinking I had better call the school to tell them I wasn’t going to make it. In one, I just couldn’t make myself get out of bed at all. Yes, anxiety was trying hard to hold me down.
It wasn’t a whole lot better on class day. I had a hard time concentrating at work and was overcome with such an urge to hunt down some chocolate and eat it all! As I was driving to Marion the jitters seriously took hold. I wasn’t just nervous about starting college, but also because the first class would be Oral Communications.
The last time I got up in front of a class to give a speech was in 7th grade, and it ended with me passing out. I fell straight back and hit my head on the chalk board. When I came to and realized what had happened, my first thought was that I would never have to do a speech again! Not so, instead I just had to do my next speech sitting at the teacher’s desk. Now I’m about to do another.
As the fates would have it, I made it to school safe and sound and found the classroom. I played the good student card and sat in the front row. The beginning portion was orientation that presented a lot of information in a short time. Afterwards, if you asked me what info was presented, the only part I remember is when the Dean of Business explained why this was considered an accelerated program. It boils down to this: A “traditional” class runs for 16 weeks with 48 hours of classroom instruction. Our class will run 5 weeks with 20 hours of instruction. We will be expected to have 12 to 20 (or more) hours of homework a week. All I could say was, “Wow!”
Next came Oral Communications. I absolutely loved the teacher, Colleen Cecil. She put me, and I assume the whole class, right at ease. She was so down-to-earth and approachable. Suddenly I realized the anxiety had slipped away at some point. Colleen began with our syllabus. It’s a five week class and we are to present three speeches in that time. Our first speech will be a “how-to” speech. The first thought I had was, “I know how to type, and . . . hmm, that’s about it! Should be a short speech.”
Next we had to partner up with and interview someone we didn’t know. Easy for me, because I didn’t know anyone. Once the interviews were done, each pair had to get up in front and introduce the person we interviewed. I am so proud to let you all know that I did not pass out!
Once class was over, as I was driving home, I really felt good about everything. Still a bit overwhelmed, but I realized I would be okay. To reward myself, I went through McDonald’s and had a Frappe. Now, nearly a year into my studies, I still reward myself with a Frappe after class, and continue to appreciate everything about MTC. I was blessed to have Colleen Cecil again for my Composition 2 class. She, like all the instructors, is a gem. All I can say about this adventure is that I’m lovin’ it!
Written by: Sylvia See, Marion Technical College Student Ambassador and Adult Student Accelerated Program (ASAP) student