Seminars can be a stumbling block for some people and if I’m honest there is valid reason behind it. It is totally understandable if you get this pre-seminar stress feeling before attending! There are many different reasons this could be the case, including: meeting new people, the unknown of your tutor, will you understand the work? Are the others going to better than you?
You may even suffer from imposter syndrome which is fairly common at university. All of these reasons are very real and very valid. So carry on reading to learn how you can do your best to avoid all of the reasons above, or at the very least, help you to learn to cope with them.
Challenge your thoughts
Whenever you feel stressed or you know that at some point you will feel anxious, you need to question them thoughts. Have you been in a situation that you are about to encounter before? If so, how did it go? I guarantee that it went better than you thought it would, this shows that you can handle it and it is never as bad as you think. Therefore, by challenging your thoughts it allows you to believe in yourself.
When challenging your anxious thoughts, try to think about what evidence there is to show that when you feel anxious about a situation there been an outcome that has been bad. Normally, you won’t be able to think of many situations which can help to calm you down. If you search for the evidence and don’t find anything, you know that your seminar won’t probably be as stressful encouraging as you would originally think. However, if you do happen to find evidence that the outcome of your seminars or any situation that causes you to be anxious, is bad. They you can work to ensure that you don’t encounter these instances.
Don’t enter the avoidance trap
The worst thing to do when you’re feeling that pre-seminar stress is to completely avoid going to the seminar at all. Not only does this affect your learning and attendance, it also means you make it into a bigger problem for yourself for the next time. The only way you will overcome your pre-seminar anxiety is by going to them. It might be easier for you if you arrive earlier than the rest of the class. This way you have chance to sit down and prepare yourself, and not feel rushed like you may if you arrive whilst everyone else does.
Or reach out to your tutor and let them know how you feel. They will deal with their pupils feeling this way ever now and then so don’t be afraid to reach out. They will be able to help you.
Keep a healthy lifestyle
Keeping a healthy lifestyle, if you have a bad diet and don’t get enough exercise it is scientifically linked to feeling more stress. Therefore, you must maintain a healthy diet. If you are like me and you enjoy a sweet treat or a takeaway a little too often at times, try to ensure that at the very least you eat well the day before and on the day of your seminar. This will help massively if you have an early morning seminar and usually struggle to get up.
However, a healthy diet can have an assortment of reasons and whilst you should maintain one before your seminar, you should reward yourself for completing the seminar. So, if you want to get yourself a takeaway when you have done your seminar, then I say go for it! Keeping a healthy lifestyle isn’t just about eating well, you need to sleep well too. Make sure that the night before your seminar you have had a good night’s sleep, if you go into your seminar tired it will most likely make your anxiety worse.
Planning ahead is critically when wanting to avoid any stress before your seminar. You need to think about what makes you less anxious and what makes you more anxious. It might be easier to write this down so you can analyse and visualise them more clearly. If you plan ahead it gives you opportunity to ensure that you have done the things that make you less anxious prior to your seminar.
Make sure you have done all of your seminar pre-work so that you have a better chance of understanding the work in class. This is where a lot of university students go wrong because they ‘can’t be bothered’ to do the pre-work. But honestly, it gives you the best chance of feeling prepared before a seminar. So try and start spending an hour or so the day before just running through the pre-work and giving it a go.
Incorporate Jamworks into your seminars
A quick tip that can help to eliminate a lot of your pre-seminar stress would be to incorporate Jamworks into your seminars. Try recording your seminars (or only recording the important parts) so that before the next seminar you can quickly review all the key points. This will help keep your thoughts nice and fresh!
Unfortunately, you will never remove your pre-seminar stress and anxiety completely. However, I would argue in some instances it is a good thing to have an element of anxiety. It means that it matters to you. However, the important thing is learning to cope and control your worries. Hopefully with a small piece of advice from the above, you can manage your pre-seminar anxiety and learn to implement things into your life that will encourage you to cope and ultimately avoid pre-seminar anxiousness.