Conference Circuit

Fact: I can have social anxiety and professional conferences seem to exacerbate it. I know that getting proposals accepted and presenting at conferences is crucial as I build my curriculum vitae to pursue a career in academics, but I have a secret: I really don’t like them. Don’t get me wrong, I like hearing about the research happening in my field, especially if it is really relevant to the work that I am doing. I also love meeting up with old friends from other programs, like mentors and students from the University of Michigan, and hear about what they are doing. What I don’t like is the whole “shmoozing” aspect; meeting new people and networking. I do it because I know it needs to be done, I just get such anxiety, I don’t know why! I start to feel and look like this…

Ok, well maybe not exactly like that. But today’s conference in at the University of Michigan is  no exception. I could feel the anxiety bubbling up as I checked in to get my name tag and meet and greet some folks during the opening remarks. Luckily, I get to duck out for a few hours to meet my mentor (my original mentor, the one who set me up with my advisor at UVa). I don’t present until 2:15pm so I’ve got a bit of time.

A quick stop at my fave coffee shop in A2 quells all anxiety: Espresso Royale


I used to come to ER every morning when I was getting my master’s here–ahh those were the days, so much less stress (although at the time I was was like, oooh this master’s level stuff is hard!). They have my favorite loose-leaf tea, Winston’s Breakfast. It’s a really strong version of English Breakfast and goes especially well with a HUGE chocolate chip cookie, a combination I no doubt consumed hundreds of time as a student here.

The great thing about being back is definitely hitting up all my favorite old spots. I formed intimate relationships with some of the coffee shops considering the amount I was writing during my master’s degree.

Other then the conference today, I have some really pressing things to get done this week (which I’m sure don’t help the anxiety):

Another conference proposal due by noon tomorrow (like a hamster on a wheel baby)
Stats Final due Thursday (won’t start it until Wed)
Getting my bike tuned up for the half ironman in a week and a half
Find a place to live in Boulder over the summer

If I accomplish the first two on the list by tomorrow I’ll feel better, chances are, though, I won’t.

Here’s my question for the day:

Do any situations make you anxious? What do you worry about?

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3 Responses to Conference Circuit

  1. Oh my goodness, honey! You are going to be so great–you are amazing at talking to people! I’m sure you will wow the pants off of everyone you meet!

    I have serious social anxiety, especially in those schmoozing situations so I can totally relate! I am just self-conscious and hate having to make small talk. I’m terrible at it!

    Thanks for posting Ann Arbor pics. Nice to see “home.” 😀

  2. Thanks so much, I need to hear it! 🙂
    I’ll try to post some more pics later

  3. Pingback: Cinco de Mayo | Let's Go on a Living Spree

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