Building confidence at university

Confidence is a weird concept. It comes in so many different forms and is interpreted differently by everyone. Some people are naturally confident, whereas some people just aren’t – and that’s okay! Whether you have self-confidence or body confidence, learning how to develop yourself to become a more confident person can make a huge difference to your university experience. (It might even help you stand out when you’re applying for a job!)

Here are my top ways of developing and building confidence whilst at Uni.

Get Involved

One of the best ways to gain confidence is to fully immerse yourself in your studies. Whether that be a presentation you’re dreading or an interview you’re nervous about, giving it everything you’ve got can make a world of difference. The situation itself might not be something you’re particularly comfortable with, but giving it 100% means you’re less likely to worry about it. Even if you don’t do as well as you hoped, the lessons you take from it will be invaluable. They will help you become a more confident person, so the next time you have to do another presentation you know exactly what to do.

Self Affirmation

No matter what it is that you do, you’re great at it. You have to believe in yourself. I personally have struggled to have confidence in my ability for years – it wasn’t until my second year that I realised I was good at what I do. It wasn’t until I got involved with Student Life that my self-confidence really started to rise, because I was putting myself out there doing what I love. It was such an uplifting experience to finally have confidence in myself, as it made me a better person overall. Now, it’s important to remember that you aren’t going to be great at everything – but the things you are good at, celebrate!

If it’s something you struggle with, I’d recommend writing down five things that you’re good at or something you enjoy doing. I know it might be hard, but nine times out of ten, you’ll find lots of things that you’re good at. Having belief in your abilities is a great feeling and it’ll help you so much over your time at university!

Believe in Others

Confidence doesn’t always come from self-belief. Having confidence in other people is just as important – especially when in a working environment. Not only will it mean you don’t have to worry about someone doing their job properly, but it’ll also mean that you create a mutual respect for one another – ‘you trust me, so I trust you’. Having confidence and belief in one another can help boost your own confidence, as well as that of others. If you’re in a creative or collaborative industry, belief in others can give you lots of different opportunities – for example, if I know someone is looking for an editor, I will recommend someone I have worked with because they’re great at what they do. Not only is that going to make them feel fantastic, it’ll also make you feel great too, as you’ve helped a friend.

If you’ve found this helpful and are interested in what else I have to say about building confidence, you should definitely check out the Fresher Take Podcast (shameless plug!).

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