An academic experience/project I had in my freshman seminar class was that of the interviews. I must admit when I was told I’d have to conduct a number of interviews and transcribe them afterwards, I pretty much froze in my seat. For as long as I can remember I have been a rather shy person and therefore making the idea of interviewing a total stranger about equivalent to standing on a stage, in front of a ton of people, completely naked. I always got that feeling of being “stuck in the mud” or just utterly paralyzed when I’ve been in situations like that and knowing I had to conduct not one but three interviews, had me incredibly anxious.
Although I was very opposed to this assignment, I had no choice. I learned that it wasn’t as scary as I had initially thought and that these people weren’t going to judge me on my interviewing ability or my appearance or really anything at all. My fear, although irrational to some, had me practically shaking before each interview I had to conduct, which then made me more anxious because I was so worried. I soon realized that I was okay and that interviewing someone is essentially just like having a conversation with them and if I was able to convince myself that it was no more than a conversation, then I was able to conduct an okay interview. I also surprised myself with how carried away I got with the interviews as they progressed and how I was the one asking them questions that were completely unrelated to the questions we had been provided. This allowed me to become slightly more confident in myself and in what I was able to accomplish.
I most definitely will not go into a career that requires me to interview and transcribe for a living but I may have more confidence when it comes to myself and if I am asked to conduct an interview I will be capable of doing it. I wanted to join community service opportunities but I worried I would be too nervous to voice my opinion or contribute in a prominent way, but after conquering this one fear of semi public speaking, I think I will be able to be more integral in these organizations. Having to conduct and transcribe the interviews also took up a lot of time and I had to learn greater time management from that so I believe that is one way in which this project positively affected me.
Overall, I think this project, especially for someone who was as tentative about it as I was, is a very important and educating experience that allows, or rather forces, students to break out of their comfort zone and do something they might have never done otherwise.