Life&Style editor Tara Kergon shares some advice on how to avoid a post-graduation slumpWritten by Tara Kergon on 18th April 2018
Self-Confidence in University: A Struggle We All Face
Bethan Lewis discusses self-confidence at university and how not to let a lack of it hold you back at university
Lack of self-confidence is something most people have faced at some point, yet no one seems to talk about it much or openly discuss how they pushed past their problems and learned how to build themselves up. So, if not many people speak about their experiences, how do we overcome our fears and increase our self-confidence?
Our problems can stem from comparing ourselves to other people; especially involving academic abilities at university. In my own experience, I came from a school where people didn’t try their best or work particularly hard, so moving here to a place where most people put a lot of effort into their studies straight away made me feel much less confident, as I suddenly felt as if I were at the bottom. When it comes to lack of confidence with our intellectual capabilities, remembering that we are all at the same university and therefore our abilities are very similar can help.
Some people struggle at the start of the year to get back into working hard and motivating themselves to spend the extra hours in the library and do the extra reading. This can make people lose confidence within themselves because they’re not doing as well as they should be, therefore the best way to increase your self-confidence is to pick yourself up and work harder for the next test or essay and go and get help if you need it, to prove to yourself more than anything that you can do well if you put your mind to it.
“Everyone has things about their appearance that they might want to change, so learning to love those ‘flaws’ and be happy with your body will increase your self-confidence
Overcoming a fear of failure or fear of not being good enough is critical to gaining self-confidence when it comes to our abilities in academics, as well as in sports at university. Being nervous to try a new sport because you’re worried you won’t be as good as other people is very common. Lack of self-confidence shouldn’t stop you from trying new sports that interest you. Other people will be in the same position as you, and yes, you may not be great when you first start, but it may be something you really enjoy. What’s the harm in trying? You will improve your skills and often you’ll be in a group with people similar to your abilities anyway, so you won’t feel as if you’re not on the same level as other people.
At university, self-confidence issues regarding our appearance can make you feel insecure: wishing you looked the way someone else looked, or wore the clothes they wore. Dressing nicely means different things to everyone, whether that’s an expensive outfit or your favourite pair of jeans you’ve had for years. Sometimes spending a bit more time in the morning to dress in a way that makes you feel good about yourself can really help, rather than turning up to your lecture in a rush after throwing on the nearest clothes you could find. When you feel confident about what you’re wearing and how you look that day, it reflects in your mood and makes you feel a lot happier.
Feeling good within yourself can massively help you to feel more confident about your appearance. Everyone has things about their appearance that they might want to change, so learning to love those ‘flaws’ and be happy with your body will increase your self-confidence.
“Lack of self-confidence is a huge problem in society which especially affects university students, and is something that may seem unbeatable
Lack of self-confidence is a huge problem in society which especially affects university students, and is something that may seem unbeatable. But, you can take control of this and improve over time by staying positive and removing any negative thoughts. Your fears will definitely not disappear overnight, so constantly working on your self-esteem will eventually help you to break through and understand how to overcome your problems, so that you don’t let your troubles with self-confidence hold you back from having an amazing university experience.