I'm writing because I'm really anxious about joining a club at my high school. Next year I will be a senior and there's a club at my school I'm thinking about joining that is all about mentoring lower classmen and getting involved in a lot of extracurricular school activities such as pep rallies. The main reason why I'm considering joining is because my favorite teacher is in charge of it, but I also think it's a really good cause. The idea of joining, though, makes me panic.
Being in crowded places like pep rallies for example really triggers my social anxiety to the point where I become physically ill. If I'm forced to cheer and get "peppy" I can't even imagine how bad that will make my anxiety. I also don't fancy the idea of having to interact with other students at my school, show them around, get them involved in activities, etc. because talking to people I don't know sends my anxiety through the roof. There have been times when I was talking to someone I didn't know and became nauseous to the point of gagging in front of them because of how anxious it made me. Those memories only reinforce my panic attacks because I think, "What if it happens again?" I can't seem to shake thought of "What if they're judging me?" when I'm having a conversation with unfamiliar people.
I'm really torn on whether I should join the club. If I don't, I probably won't ever see my favorite teacher again as my senior year will be my last year there. She's the only teacher I've felt I had a good connection with over my tenure at the school and she means a lot to me. But if I do join, I worry about how that will fare on my mental health. Living with social anxiety for most of my life, I've learned that I can't use it as an excuse not to do things. I've endured multiple presentations in different classes over the years where I've had to leave the classroom shortly beforehand to vomit because of how badly I was panicking over them. I've forced myself to talk to teachers about important things like grading errors and the like even though that always makes me extremely nervous. I've never run away from my problems no matter how terrified I was, but I really don't know if I can handle this.
Will I be letting my anxiety win if I don't join? Would it be good for me to just subject myself to constant panic attacks by forcing myself into situations that trigger my social anxiety? I don't know if these sacrifices are worth it just for my teacher and the cause. I've always faced my anxiety in situations where it was mandatory, never in an optional situation. I am aware that in the real world I will have to talk to people and there's no way around that and that I will have to step outside of my comfort zone and do things that make me feel nervous. I'm really terrified in this situation, though.
What do you guys think? Would it be worth it for me to join even if it triggers frequent panic attacks? Is it good practice for my future? If I join the club what can I do to help my anxiety?
Thank you for your help in advance.