Anxiety cripples students in the classroom

As if the external pressures from peers, parents and professors are not enough, many students face yet another problem anxiety.

Huberta Jackson-Lowman, a psychology professor at Florida A&M, said she has seen students suffer from two common forms of anxiety in the classroom.

One has to do with speaking anxiety and just the fear of speaking out in class or when presentations are called for, Jackson-Lowman said. I also find that students get very anxious around test time. If you’re anxious, your ability to remember is impaired, so that often interferes with your ability to be successful.

When classroom standards are set high and the pressure to succeed becomes overwhelming, many find themselves falling victim to anxiety, even if they have adequately prepared for class. Such is the case for Latika Smith, a senior business administration student from Alexandria, Va.

I have experienced anxiety during a test in any class that has required me to retain a lot of information, Smith said. After studying for hours, I still felt unsure of myself. I felt as if I didn’t study enough.

For others, important class assignments impact the severity of anxiety felt when trying to complete them.

Rashell Johnson, a freshman political science student from Palatka, said his level of stress and anxiety is dependent on the weight of the grade it will carry.

When taking tests, if it says exam, I get nervous, Johnson said. Whereas if it’s a quiz, I take it lightly.

Fortunately, anxiety does not have to become a roadblock to obtaining a higher education. There are coping techniques one can utilize to ease this problem.

Jackson-Lowman advises students to overly prepare for upcoming academic obligations in a comfortable environment.

Relaxation is extremely important, she said. Maybe meditation also. When people meditate, they can incorporate visualization.

If at-home techniques do not ease anxiety, students can also seek professional help for an affordable price.

Students need to know where they can go to get treatment, said associate psychology professor Jermaine Robertson. We have a university counseling center that is here to help students.

Robertson, who is also a licensed psychologist, shared his experiences to show how preparation can impact ones level of anxiety.

I think when Im most anxious, even today, the level of preparation I put into it is akin to my level of anxiety, he said. So if I dont put in a lot of preparation or feel as prepared as I couldve been, that brings more anxiety about.