Good advice for us all

I read the Life @ U of T blog regularly – interesting stories, great tips about campus life – but I found Sarah’s post this week particularly moving. It was a genuine “I’ve been there!” kind of feeling. Because yes, I’ve been there.

My undergraduate degree took a rather long time (I will, at long last, convocate this November) so I have experienced the university classroom from a number of vantage points. My first round (1988-1991), I barely, if ever, spoke in class or tutorial. I was terrified. Didn’t think I had anything of merit to offer, worried that I would say something so off-base that I would look ridiculous. When I returned as a mature student in 2008, I made a conscious effort to change this situation. I still wasn’t comfortable speaking (even if I was older than some instructors and most of my fellow students, I could still be intimidated) but I forced myself to and – as Sarah points out – it did get easier. And I did learn that I could survive any potential embarrassment.

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