Currently I am in an advanced placement history class, and so there are only seven other students not counting me. Everyone in that class is very outspoken, not afraid at all to hold back their views and opinions. I, however, almost never speak at all. Because it's a small class, my shyness is more noticeable. I can't fade into the background when there are only seven other people in my class. I guess I have felt extremely ashamed and pathetic because I am the only one that doesn't participate. I have been trying to overcome my shyness for years, but I still experience a lot of anxiety when talking in front of groups of people. I feel very isolated and different in that class because my teacher jokes around with everyone and vice versa, and it's like I am an outsider watching the proceedings. Because I feel like I don't belong, my feelings of anxiety have heightened. I really want to start participating, but I'm afraid of everyone's reactions. It would be weird if I said something because I normally don't, and I don't want it to be a big deal. Sometimes I feel like my opinions and thoughts don't matter anyways. I'm also afraid I'll embarrass myself; there's a lot of pressure to be right considering it is an advanced class. Every day I pretty much dread going there for fear my teacher will call on me. It's so stressful. Any advice on how to get over my fear of participating in classes?