A college student is thinking of majoring in acting but her social anxiety is a big hurdle.
Why not try baby steps, suggests our elder. Try a drama group but don’t change your major yet.
I’m currently a sophomore in college. I’m in a bit of a weird stage where I feel nothing, no passion or real motivation other than the fact that my parents would be disappointed if I failed and I don’t want to see a C on my report card. I’m double majoring in anthropology and film, I’m thinking I don’t fit in with film but I feel I somehow am in the arts, I think. Lately, I’ve been trying to find out who I am and what I like. It has me going back to when I was younger. I wanted to be an actor, I wanted attention. In my family, we don’t talk about feelings, all my 19 years I can’t remember anything to do with sitting down and telling my parents or siblings how I feel. Anyway, I’ve been thinking of trying to major in acting. I don’t know if I’ll be good but I guess it’s better to try. I’m incredibly small voiced and have severe social anxiety, and basically can’t look in the mirror because I believe I’m so ugly, but I do want to try and get better. It’s just so scary. What should I do?
First of all, I’d like to say that a lot of your thinking is quite normal for your age. The college years are the times we really question ourselves, our interests, our motivations, our self-image , who we are. Picking a major is difficult because we really are not sure of what we want to do in life. I know there are some kids who seem to have their future all planned, but I think they are exceptional. I mean, who at 19, can make decisions for the rest of their life?
I really wouldn’t worry too much if you’re not all excited over your studies. But I do hope you continue to at least have an interest in them. Your pick of anthropology was one of my favorite classes so I can appreciate why you chose it and, of course, the study of film could always prove exciting once you really got into it. But none of this will happen right now. Our interests have to grow so we need to give them time.
I guess what I’m suggesting is that you not change your major right now to acting. I think you would be biting off more than you could chew, as the saying goes. And your future as an actor is extremely risky. Since you say you have severe social anxiety, I suggest you start this pursuit with baby steps.
How about if you joined a drama club in college? Or, what if you checked out the small little playhouses in your town to see if you could be part of the group? You could start working in scenery and then perhaps move into acting. Small steps for you would be the key.
In the meantime, stay with your college majors unless they become totally unbearable at which time you could change. Keep in mind, though, while doing all this, you need to plan for how you can finance yourself when you’re an adult and move away. Maybe a business course here or there would be of help.
This is an exciting time of your life, so I hope you can relax a bit and enjoy your self-exploration. You’ll have ups and downs and mood swings, but it’s all part of the adventure. Try to enjoy it.
Article #: 449650