The time has finally come. All those years of working hard on your education has led up to this moment and you’re on your way to staring university – congratulations!
Moving away from home, going to new places, making new friends and getting a headstart in your future profession are just a few reasons to get excited about going to uni, but what most people don’t warn you about is just how much you’ll be skyrocketed out of your comfort zone, plus the wave of different emotions you’ll experience, especially in the first few weeks.
It may be a fresh start and your first exposure into adulthood with a lot of newfound freedom, but being in an unfamiliar environment surrounded by people you don’t know can feel a little overwhelming, so it’s completely normal if you feel like your self-confidence has taken a hit.
Here are 7 tips on how to find your self-confidence so you can be your best self at university…
1. Realise you’re not alone
First of all, whether you’re feeling anxious, homesick, lonely or uncertain, rest assured there are plenty of students who are feeling exactly the same way as you. Adjusting to a new lifestyle will have its ups and downs, so any negative emotion you are feeling is completely normal, but it won’t last forever. Taking advantage of opportunities like getting involved in activities that your uni has to offer, or attending events like Freshers Week is a great way to make new friends and meet like-minded people. You’ll also feel more comfortable when you see familiar faces around campus.
2. Eat properly and exercise regularly
If you think you’re a bad eater now wait until you have the ability to eat whatever you want, whenever you want. Never underestimate the importance of eating healthy. Eating well and exercising regularly will benefit you physically, emotionally (hello endorphins), and mentally, because if you feel good about yourself and the way you look, you’ll feel more confident, and it’ll show.
3. Balance your social life and academics
Being a student is a full-time job in itself which means your studies require your attention every day, and nothing knocks confidence levels more than underperforming academically. Devoting a good chunk of time each day to focus on your studies will not only have you prepared for upcoming lessons (and make every class a breeze), you’ll easily score those top marks which will warrant a celebratory night out with your mates. See? It’s all about balance.
4. Surround yourself with positive people (and thoughts)
Surround yourself with a positive support group, avoid bubble busters (you know, people who can always find something negative to say regardless of how good a situation is), and start thinking positively rather than focusing on what could go wrong. Given, it’s a lot easier said than done, but when you replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts it can significantly increase your self-confidence and attitude, which will allow you to achieve the goals you once deemed impossible.
5. Do one thing that scares you everyday
Building self-confidence doesn’t happen at the drop of a hat, it’s something that you need to work towards at your own pace. Whether it’s standing up and presenting in class, joining a club, trying out a new sport or even asking to be part of a friendship circle – anything you do that scares you is a massive jump in building confidence. Before you know it, you’ll actually be excited to try new stuff out, instead of being hesitant.
6. Reward achievements
Celebrate your victories, no matter how big or small. Mustering up the courage to say hi to someone, volunteering at a charity or smashing that pop quiz in class are just some of the small instances that you can give yourself a pat on the back for. Set short and long term goals, keep track of them and don’t forget to reward yourself. Incremental progress is surprisingly powerful, and nothing beats the feeling of ticking those goals off your checklist one by one to prove that you can do anything.
7. Don’t take yourself too seriously
There’s nothing more damaging to your self-confidence that focusing on every little mistake and dwelling on the things you wish you had (and hadn’t) said or done. But guess what? You will inevitably make mistakes and you won’t be the only one, so don’t take yourself too seriously. Never compare yourself to others because going to uni is all about you figuring out who you are, and loving yourself will be the best part of the whole experience. Take some time out to calm your inner-critic, and don’t forget to share your embarrassing stories with trusted friends and learn to laugh at yourself. University is as much about the experience as it is the grade.