One year in: So far, how has university helped my confidence?
Whether being introduced to new environments and people comes natural to you or not, starting university can often make students feel less than confident. In this blog, I’ll talk about how coming to university has done wonders for my confidence.
When you move into your flat, join societies and meet coursemates, let’s face it- you have no choice but to start from scratch, introducing yourself, saying where you’re from, what your interests are (etc etc). Many of us have not had to do this since we were very young, so I definitely felt strange starting all over again! It took me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to get to know as many people as I could. Just this simple interactivity gave me some confidence and made me realise that the whole getting to know everyone stage wasn’t as scary as I had anticipated!
When I started my classes, I immediately got the feeling that lecturers would not force you to get involved, but that this must be done from your own will. Knowing this gave me a boost of confidence to share my own ideas with the class, because if I didn’t, then I knew I might have missed some really good opportunities for discussion. The more you get involved in lectures and (particularly) seminars (which allow for more open conversations), the easier you’ll find it to raise a point in front of the class.
An obvious but important point to mention is that the scale of everything increases massively at university. The first time I entered the library and tried to find a book, it probably took me at least half an hour. I was used to a few shelves of books at college, but it’s a completely different system at university! Let me tell you though, when I retrieved the book (at last!) I felt really pleased with myself and felt more confident the second time I came back. Now finding books takes a matter of minutes! Little tasks such as finding a book for the first time can set your confidence in a positive direction. This is just one example of having to find things out for yourself, though. Working out where certain buildings are on campus, what bus routes to use and where the nearest shops were helped with my confidence!
At university, you are pretty much responsible for everything in your daily life. While this is daunting at first, it was brilliant for building my confidence as well as helping me to gain a sense of independence. For example, if you don’t cook anything for yourself, nobody else will, so immediately you get in a routine of knowing when to cook, as well as the meal planning and food shopping that comes with it. The first really ‘adult’ thing I did was book a doctors appointment! My parents had always sorted this out for me at home, so it was a new experience for me.
The general sense of organization that comes with being a student can also boost your confidence, as you start to feel more on top of things. This can include simple activities such as arranging to meet your personal tutor or lecturer if you’re not happy about something, as well as more large-scale activities such as event organization if you become involved in societies!
I hope this blog has shown how the simplest of tasks at university can be great for your confidence!