Before I came to Putney I was really shy. I was afraid of public speaking, even just thinking about it. The first time I gave a speech was during the project week last winter. I conducted an independent research on social psychology and wanted to share my results about how the behavior of wasting food and appreciating kitchen work reflects people’s self-esteem. There was one year I studied about people’s misunderstandings about poverty in America, and I wrote a research paper about it. However, I felt only writing a paper was not enough, I wanted to let more people hear my voice. So, I decided to give a speech. And I knew that for more people to hear my voice, it was necessary to overcome my fear.
I remembered a quote from the art building, written by a Putney student, that said, “Do the scary thing first, then get scared later.” I followed their advice to do the scary thing first, and I found out, surprisingly, that I was very comfortable on stage – and even enjoyed it! After I did my speech, many people from the audience found me during lunch and told me that they became more aware of wasting food and showing appreciation to the workers because of my speech. This successful experience made me want to do another psychology project during the next project week and give another public speech. I realized that if I do the scary thing first, then there are many valuable opportunities and some fun facts about myself to discover.