One day, a few loudmouths were missing from one of my classes. Everyone felt the emptiness. They knew something was off and they could pinpoint who wasn’t there. They wondered why the hell they were gone. The discussion wasn’t as balanced as it normally is when they’re there to contribute. Blah, blah, blah.
Naturally, I doodled in my notebook and wondered whether or not people notice when my desk is empty. Maybe the person who sits behind me notices because they can see the board a bit more clearly without my fluffy hair obscuring their view. Maybe. Other than that, most likely not.
Now, this isn’t some sort of emo thing. I’m just quiet in class. Invisible. Forgettable.
It’s not that I hate school or think I’m better than everyone or whatever ideas people slap on the quiet kids. I’m just afraid to speak my mind in class.
When I do, I fidget for the ten minutes between having the thought and speaking it, getting shaky and red-cheeked the closer I get to raising my hand. More often than not, the moment passes, the conversation changes direction, and I’m left a blushing, sweating, dizzying moron.
Plus, I can’t think on my feet. Speaking up usually leads to answering follow-up questions, to which my glorious response is usually something akin to, “Uhhhhhhhhhhh.”
So hey, classmates. By the end of the first month, I probably know all of your names and some tidbit about yourself you shared on that first obnoxious LET’S ALL GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER AND BE BEST FRIENDS day of class.
And hey, professors. I’m usually prepared for class and usually have some sort of answer to your questions. I’m just a blubbering moron when it comes to actually voicing them.
And I know I’m not the only one like this. So how about a challenge, friends? Let’s speak up at least once a week in every class. Even if it’s as simple as shouting out an agreement to something someone else says — just get your voice out there. I’ve been trying to do this since the semester started, and it gets a smidgen easier each time. So hop to it.