Views #1495 | Intermediate (B1)

Overcoming Fear

Two college students talk about getting over fear and facing challenges.

Gyri: Okay. Viyasan, have you ever overcome any fears.

Viyasan: Okay, that's a good question. I think there's many fears that I've overcome and I'm sure everyone has as well, but the one that sticks out to me the most was attending university after high school. I think the scariest part of that was meeting all the different types of people, different people from different cultures, from different high schools, from different areas. It was very odd to see that group all mixed together. I wasn't sure how to approach people and talk to them. Some of the classes were very tough. It was just a huge mess of interacting with people and doing well in school. But I think the best way to approach it is to find similarities that you can connect with people.

For example, I really liked basketball and so I tried to hang out with other people who liked basketball and other people who enjoyed some of my similar subjects. For example, I like marketing and so I was a big fan of other students who took very similar classes and I would talk to them about my interests. And so, I think that's how I got through university, was trying to find people that made similar interests of mine ... or, sorry, or had similar interests and just grow with them, learn more, and then slowly meet new people with similar interests as well. So I think that's how I overcame the hurdle of first year university.

Gyri: Yeah.

Viyasan: Yeah.

Gyri: And what year are you in?

Viyasan: I am in my fourth year right now.

Gyri: Okay, so you've been for a while.

Viyasan: Just one more semester here at APU and-

Gyri: This is your last semester?

Viyasan: Yep, and then I'll be graduating, so it's pretty scary heading into the real world, the adult world.

Gyri: Yeah, you're gonna have to find a job.

Viyasan: Exactly, yeah. That's gonna be a little bit stressful as well.

Gyri: Are you worried about that?

Viyasan: Finding a job? Right now, I do have a job when I graduate university. I'll be working within a marketing context, luckily, it's something that I'm interested in, in a marketing context at a consulting firm. So that's solving problems for different types of businesses within a marketing context.

Gyri: That sounds cool.

Viyasan: Yeah, what about yourself? What are some of your interests? Are you scared about anything when you graduate?

Gyri: Well, I haven't really been ... I'm trying not to think about now 'cause I still have so many years left. The degree that I'm taking, social anthropology, isn't really a degree that you get work from. Especially, only with a bachelor's degree. I'm gonna have to take more years of other stuff. I'm thinking of taking English literature and then, eventually becoming a teacher, teaching in high school. But there's a long way to go, so I'll probably not be done until I'm like 28, 29 and I'm 23 right now. I'm not really worrying about jobs yet.

Viyasan: Got it. Got it. Well, that's a big relief. I know that when a lot of university students graduate, they go job hunting, or even in their third or fourth year. It's good to know that you still have lots of time before you go job hunting. You're in the clear for now.

Gyri: Yeah, for now.

Viyasan: Yeah.

Gyri: I'll save the stressing for later.

Viyasan: Exactly, exactly. Gyri, so how 'bout in the past? Have you ever overcome a fear?

Gyri: Yeah and it's similar to what you were talking about. After high school, I went to Barcelona to study graphic design and I was supposed to be there for four years, but it was very scary and I was only 19 years old living in a foreign country. The university wasn't really good. They promised us an English class, but they didn't speak English so we were the only four people in the English class and they were only speaking Spanish to us. We couldn't understand anything, so it was a very stressful situation; being in a new country, not speaking the language, and the university not being very supportive. That was very stressful, but it was a very good experience and I learned a lot from it, but I ended up going back to Norway and going to university there instead. Yeah.

Viyasan: And how'd you like the change? When you went back to Norway, do you find things a lot more easier for you to grasp? How were the courses at university in Norway?

Gyri: Yeah, it was much more easier. It wasn't stressful at all really. Yeah, so it kind of made me more accustomed to university life, I guess.

Viyasan: Got it.

Gyri: Yeah.

Viyasan: That's very cool.

Answer these questions about the interview.
Audio Lessons about Phrases and Vocabulary



There's many fears that I've overcome.

When you overcome something, you handle a challenging situation successfully. Notice the following:

  1. He overcame poverty to become very rich.

stick out


The one that sticks out to me the most was attending university.

Something that sticks out is easy to notice or remember. Notice the following:

  1. What's a good memory that sticks out from high school?

huge mess


It was just a huge mess of interacting.

Here, a huge mess means a big problem. Notice the following:

  1. Traffic is terrible today. It is a huge mess!



I'll be working within a marketing context.

Context refers to the circumstances that influence a situation. Notice the following:

  1. Our words are influenced by the context in which we say them.

in the clear


You're in the clear for now.

When a person is in the clear, they are not in danger or risk of doing something wrong. Notice the following:

  1. I thought the boss was mad at me, but he is not. I am in the clear.



Did you find things easier to grasp?

When you grasp something, you understand it. Notice the following:

  1. Math is not easy to grasp at first.

Vocabulary Quiz

overcome • stick out • huge mess
context • in the clear • grasp
  1. This concept is not easy to .
  2. Once you take your medicine, you should be .
  3. His words were taken out of .
  4. She had to a rough childhood.
  5. The scandal is a for the president.
  6. Unique people often in a crowd.

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