By: Alex MacBain
As another semester begins at UPEI, new classes with unfamiliar classrooms, professors, and students abound. In order for your new instructor to get to know you (in order to get those sweet, sweet class marks), he/she will likely go around the room, ask you to state your name, program, year, and something interesting about yourself. If you’re anything like me, you probably don’t have anything interesting worth being shared with the class. After facing this problem in each of my five classes this semester, I have compiled this list to help any boring, bumbling, moron introduce him/herself to his/her new class. At the start of each following semester, I advise you to refer to this list to get you through those first few days.
- Start to stress out as soon as the instructor says the word “introduction”.
You have been in this world long enough to know that a “short and simple introduction” is anything but.
2. Laugh along with every other person’s introduction.
Maybe if the other people in your class notice that you laughed at everyone else’s introduction (even if every single other person is a one-lining genius clone of Bo Burnham), they won’t laugh as hard at yours.
3. Remember to be yourself…
…Unless “being yourself” involves anything you think could be perceived as annoying, stupid, boring, and/or obnoxious, among other things.
4. Increase your heart rate as it gets closer to your turn.
This is one of the keys of a class introduction. You do not perform well unless you can feel your heart bump against your chest, increase the frequencies of your already shallow breaths, and moisten the armpits of your favorite shirt that you handpicked specifically to wear for your first day so everyone can see how stylish you are.
5. Wait until your turn is next to think of the “interesting thing” about yourself.
Did you go on any trips this summer? Do you play any sports at a high level? Do you play the drums? This is the line of thinking you should be following. Figure out what really sets you apart from everyone else in the class and decide to share that thing.
6. Decide to share the most mundane thing about yourself.
You don’t really want to share the most interesting thing about yourself. You might have something pretty cool picked out, but don’t even bother with it, because by now, you probably have a pretty good idea that everyone else leads a much more interesting life than you do. Don’t even try it. Say something low-key, like, “I have two sisters”, or “I am from Charlottetown.”
7. Focus on how you speak.
Always start the introduction with a nervous laugh. This helps ease the tension that only exists in your head. It is also important to talk as quickly as possible in order to share the most information in the most efficient way. You must also speak quietly so you do not disturb those with sensitive ears. Make sure you include each piece of information the professor is asking for so you aren’t caught with having to think on your feet. We all know how that goes for you.
8. Relax and try to hide the relief.
As soon as the instructor has moved on to the next person, you are ready to relax. Sit back in your chair again. Stop sweating. Decrease your heart rate. Fold your arms. You made it through this introduction. Laugh at yourself for getting so worked up about a stupid fifteen-second introduction.
There you have it. Hopefully this checklist helps you get through your introduction. However, if you think that it is over once you have made it through the checklist, you are in for a rude awakening. In order for this list to be most effective, the cycle must continue in your next class’s introduction.