As post-Easter exams approach, Life and Style's Jess Howlett shares her tips on how to remain motivated over EasterWritten by Guest Author on 19th March 2018
How To Be More Confident At University
Life&Style writer Beth Gordon-Taylor gives her top tips for being more confident at university
Most people will tell you that university helped them come into their own. University certainly doesn’t have the enclosed, cliquey feel that college or sixth form had, and the kaleidoscope of societies and activities you can get stuck into is literally begging you to be your true self. But what if you’ve spent a few weeks, a month, or even a whole year at university and you still aren’t sure of who you are? It’s hard to nurture your confidence when everyone else around you seems to have it all sussed out. Anxiety is also a major issue for so many students that a lot of us seem to push it under the rug as much as possible, pretending that everything is OK. You’d be surprised to find out just how many people at university suffer from anxiety or other mental health issues.
Even as a second year, I still go through times of insecurity and doubt. Here are a few pieces of advice that everyone, including me, should keep in mind when becoming their best selves at university.
“Nine times out of ten, just turning up to a seminar, meeting, or social will make you feel a lot better than staying in your room
Nine times out of ten, just turning up to a seminar, meeting, or social will make you feel a lot better than staying in your room. Even though the thought of turning up might induce panic, you don’t know the interactions you’re going to have there, and you might end up meeting some lovely people. Even if it doesn’t turn out to be interesting, it’s a triumph that you took yourself to a place you feared - the more you do the things you are afraid of, the easier they become to deal with.
Don’t make any assumptions about yourself or others
This goes for expecting you and your flatmates to click right on the first meeting, or going into Freshers Week assuming you’ll mess up every conversation and have a breakdown when you go to your room. Starting university is a clean slate, and no one knows anything about you, so starting off with bravery by showing your real personality is a great way to carry on with confidence. Do this when meeting new people throughout your time at university, and it’ll hopefully get easier.
Never be ashamed to have some alone time
You might need more time to yourself than others after a long time socialising, and this is okay! Alone time is incredibly important at university as, with so many people to talk to, it can feel a little exhausting. So, if you know you’re an introvert, remember to escape to your room every now and then to recharge! You’ll thank yourself for it.
Your sense of humour is your power!
What you find funny and the kind of jokes you make are massive parts of your personality, so you shouldn’t let this go to waste when getting to know people. Embrace it - it’ll show them who you are, and you’ll gel better with people who laugh at the same things as you. A good joke is also a great way to break the ice, helping to put other people at ease too!
Friends can literally save your degree motivation
“Making a few solid course friends can work wonders for your degree confidence
In my experience, the best place to make friends is seminars because you can complain together about how boring it is. Only joking! But seriously, making a few solid course friends can work wonders for your degree confidence. Think library study sessions, no more lone walks to lectures, and crying together over your latest reading. It all seems a lot more possible with some good friends by your side. Knowing the people around you will also help you to open up in seminars and take the plunge by answering some of your lecturers' questions.
Take advantage of societies, even if they scare you
It can be hard for an insecure or introverted person to feel like they belong in a society because they’re often full of outgoing people, which can be intimidating. They can also seem like pre-formed friendship groups that you can’t break into. But, don’t make assumptions before joining a society! The people running it are waiting and hoping for your enthusiasm to make that society even better. Find a group of people who have the same interests as you and watch your sense of self-worth skyrocket.
If you continue to feel unconfident, go to people who are there to help you
Welfare tutors, student mentors, counsellors – just talking through things when you feel insecure can make the journey ahead seem a lot less blurry.
The longer you’re at university, the more comfortable you’ll probably feel in yourself and in the environment. But this doesn’t mean you won’t still go through times of feeling insecure, useless, or downright undeserving of what you want to go out and do. Practice at least a few of these points and you’ll slowly blossom into the carefree, confident person you strive to be.