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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Classes thrive when students speak out

Alyssa Dunning

Class discussions need everyone participating, even the introverts.

A year ago I would have never spoken up in class, even if I knew the answer or had a strong opinion on the discussion at hand.

I was terrified of speaking up. I would have full-blown panic attacks just thinking about getting called on by a professor.

One day I became frustrated enough at the lack of discussion that my unsure hand slowly rose. My voice was shaky and I thought I might die, but I spoke up. Since then school has been a different, better ballgame.

It seems to me that the same two people always speak up in class. These same two people never have anything unique to say and sometimes don’t even know what the actual discussion is. I hate these people.

Please, save everyone from the monotony of these two people, who I think most people can imagine in their head as they read this. Everyone in the class will be thankful for new input.

Speaking up in class is also great practice for the real world. It is a safe place, depending on the professor, to get out ideas and thoughts. Most careers will have a time where it is necessary to speak up for an idea or a decision.

Not only does an engaged class keep me from wanting to scream of boredom, but it has helped me with my studies as well. I remember conversations better when I’m not just jotting down notes, but actively participating.

If everyone speaks up in the class, it is easier to go deeper into a text or an idea, which gives birth to new ideas. This has helped me find paper topics I am actually excited for, rather than some cookie-cutter prompt. It has helped my grades quite a bit too.

Joining class discussions is now normal to me. I no longer get the shaky mouse voice or dry heave afterward. It has even given me confidence to speak up for myself in different aspects of my life.

Speaking up might be scary, but it is definitely worth it.

Alyssa Dunning can be reached at [email protected] or @alyssadunning3 on Twitter.

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