The road that leads to the beginning of research seldom points you in the direction you had originally planned on going. When I began my research for my senior seminar Research Article about the comparisons between Chinese, Swedish and American Students in regard to their mental health stability, I was met by a whole boat load of information I could hardly synthesize. After realizing this, firstly I looked for what part of my project I was most interested in, and which portion of the interest had the most viable research on it. I settled on researching how American Culture/Society influences anxious and depressive symptoms in college students. This is where I feel really solid in my research and am able to easily find numerous credible sources about the research that has gone into this topic.
In regard to my research I found this one article that was essentially a cover story by Michelle Cottle about a study done by Michael Liebowitz called “Social Phobia: Review of a Neglected Anxiety Disorder,” concerning how extreme anxiety has a direct association with social phobia disorder. When I thought about this for a moment I immediately connected the information to how everyone I know including myself, despises giving presentations or even raising their hands to comment while in lecture. I don’t think we all have this social phobia complex but it is evident from a first hand account to see the inherent fear of being critiqued or embarrassed holds so many from my generation back in a social setting. I agree with the understanding that being a part of a group is vital to our social and mental health, that we feel it is better to come off as shy than voice our opinions with the fear we will be excluded or have our pride damaged. In a college setting this problem is all too common, as fitting in with your peers at college can be the determinant on if you enjoy your 4 years at that university or despise them. No one wants to have that stellar, vocal and charismatic powerpoint presentation because we have become accustomed to watching our peers read from a slide and delivering the information in a monotone voice. I found this to be extremely interesting while thinking about my own personal experiences with the matter. All the times I knew the answer to a question my professor asked, but decided to withdraw my hand from the air in hopes my peers won’t think I’m a brown-noser or obnoxious.
I find this to be an issue many of us college students can attest to, and believe I will continue to discover more ways that our culture has established subconscious practices in our college youth that influence them into more anxious and depressed lives.
Thanks for reading!! 🙂