I find that anxiety is a topic that most people do not want to talk about, or feel awkward talking about. But, it is something that as a society we need to get better at discussing, if we are going to have any hope of truly understanding it and solving the problem. So, that is why I thought I would write this blog.
I am most certainly not someone who is very confident when it comes to the daunting task of taking exams. Being someone who is dyslexic, and suffers from anxiety, it certainly is a struggle to say the least. It appears no matter how many times I take an exam, I still feel the same level of anxiety.. I convince myself that I am not good enough, that I don’t remember anything and that I do not know what I’m talking about. Given that my exams results in the past have always been pretty positive, this is most certainly an irrational fear.
My anxiety has definitely improved over time. I have found that talking to people who are going through the same thing, and talking to a therapist really does help. One of the things that I can honestly say is, my experience at NCH has been incredible and invaluable in regards to my anxiety. Given the small intimate nature of the college, how personal our lectures, seminars and one to one tutorials are, I have found that my confidence and faith in myself has grown exponentially. Knowing that you have lectures who care about you, who really know about you personally and who will take the time to explain things to you, really does make all the difference in the world.
Since I was 12 years old I have wanted to be a barrister. One of the key requirements for this career path is having supreme public speaking skills. When I started NCH I was absolutely terrified of public speaking and giving presentations. Now, it is honestly like second nature to me. From day one, the head of the NCH Launch program – Matthew Batstone – saw where my weakness was, and assured me that we were going to fix this problem by the end of the year. Through personal guidance, practice and being pushed in the right ways, by the end of the year my anxiety in this area had decreased enormously, and my confidence was at a level I never imagined it could ever be at!
I think that it is only natural that anxiety comes out of our society today, given that everything seems to be about doing things as fast as possible, and the concept of winning and personal success seems to be on steroids these days. Without a doubt, it is still something that I struggle with almost everyday, but I am so unbelievably grateful that I am at NCH. I cannot imagine where I would be, and how different my life would be without it. NCH is an institution that prepares you for the real world, and for any career direction you want to take. It’s primary purpose is to enable you to succeed and become a more well-rounded, confident human being.