It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed with everything that’s going on at university and it can feel like everyone else has their shit together when in reality, they’re all thinking the same as us.
Lack of self-confidence at university is something most people have faced, yet no one seems to talk about it. A lot of people are more open about self-confidence in everyday life, but I haven’t seen many people speak about how they pushed past their struggles at university and learned how to build themselves up.
I was so nervous at the beginning of university and I definitely struggled with my confidence for a while, and even now sometimes. But, like I spoke about in My Experience of First Year post, university really will make you more confidence as a person and change you for the better.
So, here’s every self-confidence problem you might face or be worried about and why it’ll all be okay in the end…
I’m the type of person who used to worry about wearing something a bit different to normal in case people looked at my funny or judged what I was wearing. I’d feel too self-conscious to go out in something new and then end up wasting a load of money and wearing the same pair of jeans and t-shirt every day instead.
The great thing about university is that nobody cares about what you wear or how you look. The judgement you may have felt back in school won’t be there anymore. Everyone is so much more laid back from what I’ve seen.
By the end of the year the library will be full of students in their pyjamas and honestly, you won’t even batter an eye at them because no one takes themselves as seriously in that way anymore.
Basically, wear whatever the hell you want and feel confident in it. If it’s a day you want to put on your newest outfit and some heeled boots with full makeup, then go for it. But if it’s one of those days where you want to be as comfortable as possible, then turn up in your cosiest outfit and chuck your hair up and don’t worry about anyone looking at you any differently. You can wear exactly the same baggy t-shirt and leggings as yesterday and I guarantee no one will make you feel self-conscious about it because they’re all doing it too.
Meeting New People
Something I love about university is that it’s so much less cliquey than school! Everyone is so much more welcoming and wanting to make friends. We all get thrown together and most of the time no one knows each other, so it’s so much easier to make new friends because there’s no set groups already there that you’re trying to get into.
Making good friends was probably the thing I worried about most even though everyone told me not to. And they were right. I felt nervous that I was going to come across really shy but everyone comes out of their shells so quickly since you all live together.
You’ll be surprised how quickly friends form without you even thinking about it when you’re in the situation where you all live so close together and see each other all the time.
I should probably talk about the academic side of university at some point so here we go. Grades and exams are a big part of university life and one that a lot of us struggle to be confident with. For me, it’s hard being surrounded by people who are pretty much all working really hard and somehow managing to go out and have fun at the same time.
That balance is something I find really difficult and seeing other people go out all the time and still get good results does make me less confident sometimes. I came from a school where a lot of the students didn’t put in a lot of effort, so coming to university was a bit of a shock to see everyone all trying their best and achieving great results. It made me feel like I was at the bottom and had a lot of catching up to do, but really that was all just in my head.
It’s so easy to compare yourself to your flatmates and feel like you’re not doing as well as them. So I started to stop asking other people what grades they got in essays and started focusing on myself instead which really helped.
At university, there are so many different services to help with essays and exams and it took me until second term to actually make use of them! Actually going out of my way to get help when I needed it and then seeing a difference in my results massively helped my self-confidence.
Sports and Societies
Join them. Even if you think you won’t be very good or that everyone else there will be better than you, join them anyway. You won’t be the only one there who hasn’t done it before or isn’t that amazing but you will meet some of your closest friends through sports and societies.
They’re so much more welcoming than you might think! I was so nervous the first time I went and now I have a whole group of friends that I met through a society that I’ve just come back from holiday with!
It’s such a good way to meet people outside of your degree and you’re meeting people that you probably have a fair amount in common with since you’re going to the same sport or society. Pushing yourself to go even if you don’t feel completely comfortable makes such a difference. Even if it takes a few times going to feel confident, joining one or a few will definitely be worth it.
What are your tips for improving self-confidence at university?
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