By: Lauren Pierce, Alpha Class
It might come as a surprise to you considering I am a communications major, but I have always had a hard time with speaking before a crowd as well as using my voice or speaking my mind. I’m not sure I can narrow the reason for this down to one thing but anxiety is a close fit.
In the past, every time I have stood up before a class or a group of strangers, even friends, I have clammed up and it results in me messing up my words or forgetting my train of thought. It left me feeling embarrassed and uncomfortable to have to speak before people. I can actually remember a time when I stated that my speech class was one of my least favorite out of my college career because I just couldn’t perform my speeches as well as others could. I was also always paranoid and nervous that one of my professors was going to call on me to answer a question in front of the class.
Joining Zeta Phi Eta, a national professional co-ed fraternity in communication arts and sciences, was one of the best things I could have done while in college because I saw an opportunity for not only a brotherhood and networking, but also to improve on myself as a professional individual. I saw an opportunity to work on my weaknesses and to better prepare myself for the real world.
There is a lot that goes into advertising and getting the word out about our fraternity at the start of each new semester including speaking before students in their classes. As an active member of Zeta Phi Eta, it is a necessity for us to speak in classrooms about Zeta Phi Eta, who we are, and what we have to offer. Due to this, I have had to speak before classes numerous times and it is one of the highest aspects of this fraternity that I am immensely grateful for. If it weren’t for Zeta and the brilliant examples each of my brothers set for me, I probably would have continued on to be so terrified of speaking before a class.
Continuing on this fact, I’ve also found myself speaking my mind or voicing my own opinions more often than I have done in the past. I used to be so concerned with pleasing people and not standing up for myself when it was needed. It’s not a way to live as you can’t please everyone and you can’t let people push you around because if you let them, they will do exactly that. I have a voice and Zeta Phi Eta has taught me that it’s important to use it.