How To Gain Confidence
Surviving University requires more than academic skills. Increasingly students are being asked to do things to make themselves more marketable in the workplace so rather than ‘simply’ writing essays they often have to do presentations. Even taking part in a tutorial or seminar can be difficult for those who are by nature quiet and retiring.
Most people feel overwhelmed at times at University – often far more than they want to admit. The ‘fake it til you make it’ school suggests that you pretend that you’re more confident than you really are until you gain sufficient experience to develop some genuine confidence. This is better advice than it sounds but there are simple things you can do to help – best of all they’re not even academic 🙂 .
So what can you do?
Strengthen yourself in other areas – find what you’re good at and get better at it. If you feel better in yourself you will project a more confident image.
Sport is great. You don’t have to take up marathon running but brisk walking (or swimming, dance, whatever you enjoy) will help you to become physically stronger and fitter and that strength will help you to hold yourself more upright both literally and figuratively. It’s harder for someone to make you feel small when you’ve just completed a really good walk.
Set yourself a target (realistic) and achieve it. That may mean a 5 minute walk or less but do it as fast as you can, time it and do it again to see if you can beat it or start with a 100m walk or swim and increase it to 150m the next time. It really doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do something physical that you can measure so that you can see the improvement.
The key thing here is that YOU see the improvement so please don’t compare yourself to someone else who may run faster or further than you. Everyone has to start somewhere and everyone has different talents so while students inevitably find themselves comparing themselves to others, please try not to.
Physical activity works really well and has the benefit of helping you to deal with stress and generally to become healthier. It is also relatively easy to measure. However, you may be able to achieve the same thing with music or art. The key is to become a stronger version of yourself in whatever way/s you choose. For those of you who are fashion minded I guess changing your look can also help but that may require money and I’m trying to think of achievable things here. I know students who swear that changing their hairstyle can work wonders 🙂 .
In short: you choose your goal, you achieve it, you feel better.