It’s the end of December as I write this, and students are almost finished with their winter break. You may be greeting the new semester with a great deal of happy anticipation or with a huge feeling of dread. Let’s work on making it the former, not the latter.
Okay, so let’s take a quick look at your schedule. What’s on it? Do you have a boatload of classes that you have to take or are there a couple that you took because you thought they would be interesting? The funny thing is that the classes you dread, like the public speaking courses I teach, can actually turn out to be your favorite classes of all time.
Many semesters, students have written on the note cards I give them for a brief survey at the end of the first class that they absolutely, no way in heaven (or thereabouts) want to be in my class (it’s not personal, it’s just that they dislike public speaking and do not, under any circumstances or by any stretch of the imagination, want to be taking my class).
I understand, as do most of your professors who are on the lower-level-core class cycle. But you know what? With the right professor and the right attitude, you can not only make it through the course but you can excel. Talk to your professor about your concerns. No, you can’t write a paper instead of speaking in the public speaking class you are taking, but read the syllabus and see if you are going to be easing your way into the course.
Things might not be as bad as you are expecting, and you might end up loving the course you dreaded so much that you decide to minor in the subject (I’ve seen it happen!).
Good luck with your new semester!