How to not be nervous in class (Tips)

In this guide, we will answer “How to not be nervous in class” and a few useful tips to overcome feeling nervous in class.

How to not be nervous in class

If you are thinking ‘How to not be nervous in class’ you have come to the right place. Anxiety in class is more common than you think and most people keep building up their anxiety and even keep manifesting it from childhood to adulthood if left untreated. Here are some quick tips on how to overcome being nervous in class if you have to deliver a presentation or speech:

  • Engage in deep breathing exercises.
  • Think about the potential reasons why you feel nervous in class (i.e. speaking in public, bad grades). Identify the thoughts and contrast them with reality.
  • Talk to your teacher or a counsellor about your fears. They may give you some recommendations to overcome your nerves in class.
  • Visualize your success every time you feel nervous in class.
  • If you have to prepare a presentation make sure to investigate, prepare your visual aids and your speech (i.e. key aspects of the topic, relevant questions).
How to not be nervous in class (Tips)

Why would I feel nervous in class?

There are several reasons why we could feel nervous in class. For some people, it is the fear of having to speak in public (i.e. presenting in front of the class), for others it is the fear of being judged if they give out their opinion about a topic (i.e. humiliation, embarrassment) and other fear they might fail (i.e. disappointing parents, bad grades). 

However, you could fear nor only presenting in class but also having to tell your parents you failed school. Your fears could have a combination of many of the aspects we have talked about and if you have had negative experiences, such as someone making fun of you (even if it is the teacher) or you have seen how the class made fun of someone else.

If you fear the moment your teacher says ‘who can tell me what yesterday’s topic was about…?’ and you start feeling very anxious because he/she might ask you and you fear freezing, not being able to say anything because you are not sure what to say. To avoid this, here are some tips.

Prepare before your class

If there is a topic you don’t quite understand, make sure to read some more at home and do your research. If you know the teacher tends to ask for a summary the next day or randomly asks someone and you know it could be you then to reduce the anxiety that moment can bring prepare what you will say. 

Try to establish a routine or habits where you regularly study the contents of the topic you have seen throughout the day. But if you feel confident because you understand the material and the related topics then a pop quiz won’t be a source of stress and anxiety.

Finally, you could try researching the topics in advance and writing the questions you may have about them. This can help if you feel the teacher goes too fast sometimes and for you to keep up then try to look into the topics beforehand so you don’t feel like you are lost or getting confused.

Do your homework

If you say ‘I’ll do homework later’ and the later never comes then you are maximizing your chances of procrastinating which will lead to feeling anxious the night before you have to deliver your homework. Make a schedule and try to work on the assignment or homework by dividing the task into pieces. 

Homework sometimes is perceived as something boring and unnecessary but the truth is that it is the time for us to be curious and work on our own. Some people with anxiety prefer doing homework on their own instead of in groups or having to share their ideas with others so try to enjoy this alone time.

Get ready the night before

Many people leave packing their bag last minute before the school bus arrives or before they have to go to class. However, this can be a potential source of anxiety if you arrive at school and then you realize you forgot your homework, and an important book or a notebook. This is why it is recommended to pack your bag the night before so you minimize the chance of forgetting something important.

How to not be nervous in class (Tips)

Get enough sleep

This is important because if you don’t get a good night’s sleep the night before and you have a quiz or have to present in class then you will feel confused, lost and very anxious. Feeling tired will also make it difficult for you to concentrate and ultimately will affect your learning process.

Try not to binge-watch your favourite series during school days, leave it for the weekend. However, if you stay up late studying, we recommend setting up an alarm so it reminds you it is time to go to bed if you easily lose track of time.

Eat a proper breakfast

You may belong to the group of people that don’t like to have breakfast in the morning but remember that your brain needs all the energy it can get from food for proper functioning. If you go to class on an empty stomach, chances are you’ll be very hungry while you wait for a break or lunch and you will find it difficult to focus or concentrate.

Try to eat something light in the morning but avoid sugary cereals to avoid a sugar crash later on during the day. Finally, if you have the habit of having coffee in the morning, energy drinks or sodas, limit your intake since it can worsen your anxiety symptoms and it can make you very irritable. If you are in your teens, try to limit your intake to 1 to 2 cups of coffee in the morning and if you are in your pre-teens then it is recommended to avoid the intake completely.

Talk to your friends or classmates

If feeling nervous in class comes natural to you, try talking to friends and other classmates to see how they think and feel. Many students feel nervous in class so you are not the only one. However, sharing with friends and classmates how you feel about the class may give you some ideas on how to cope with your anxiety. Having a group of friends to look forward to seeing everyday can be a source of relief for the everyday stress and anxiety you may get to experience.

Even so, try to talk to someone you don’t normally talk to by just making eye contact, smile and saying a simple ‘Hi!’ or ‘Hello”. You don’t have to engage in a conversation if you don’t want to but gradually try to expose yourself to those situations. You may end up making new friends in the process.

Try to get involved at school

Try to get involved in a physical activity or playing a sport but if you don’t really feel like doing so because you don’t feel comfortable enough then try joining a club or society. There are many things you could do at school so find the best option for you, the one that suits your interests and this way you will start to feel you belong instead of feeling like going to school is an obligation or something imposed by your parents. Your time at school doesn’t have to be horrible or terrifying all the time. You will see you can have a good time but only if you adopt a positive mindset.

Why is this blog about How to not be nervous in class important?

As we have discussed about ‘How to not be nervous in class’, going to school and having to speak in public can be a tremendous source of anxiety. However, many people also struggle to adapt, fit in or even make friends. Here we have mentioned some useful tips on how to cope with being nervous in class and in school in general.

Try preparing beforehand by reading from the topics you will see next class, get everything ready and packed the night before, get enough sleep and eat healthy. Avoid or limit your caffeine intake (this is not just coffee we are talking about) and try to involve more in extracurricular activities. Finally, if you are feeling too overwhelmed, try speaking to your school counsellor or teacher for additional advice.

Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How to not be nervous in class

How do I stop being anxious in class?

If you would like to stop being anxious in class, here are a few tips that can help:
– Practice deep breathing exercises. 

– If you are able, ask your teacher for a time out so you can calm down.

– Talk to a counsellor or a teacher about how you feel.

How do I stop being nervous in front of the class?

If you would like to stop being nervous in front of the class, keep these tips in mind:
– Do your research about the topic (if it is a presentation) if the teacher asks a question don’t worry if you don’t know the answer.

– Engage in deep breathing exercises.

– Visualize your success and think positively about the outcome.

– Focus on what you are saying and not on your audience.

How do I stop being nervous when presenting?

If you would like to stop being nervous when presenting in front of an audience, here are some useful tips:
– Practice and practice some more.

– Do thorough research about the topic.

– Organize your information in a way it is easy to remember and easy to understand.

– Ask experienced speakers or people you know handle pretty well their nerves when presenting to give you some tips.

– Use positive visualization.

– Engage in breathing exercises before doing your presentation.

What can I drink for anxiety?

Some drinks are said to help to reduce your anxiety such as:
– Valerian root tea.

– Anti-anxiety smoothie.

– Oat Straw Drink.

– Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Juice.

– Water.

– Tart cherry juice.

– Green Tea.

What is school anxiety?

School anxiety or anxiety in the classroom can be characterized by an excessively self-consciousness about participating and/or socializing with peers. This can affect learning, incur in attendance problems and even result in low school performance.  

References 

Kirkham, L. (2019, Dec.) How to Get the Confidence to Speak in Front of a Class. Retrieved from wikihow.com.

Wikihow.com: “How to Stop Being Nervous About Each School Day”

How to not be nervous in class (Tips)

Juanita Agboola

Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.