5 ways to become more confident

A group of chicks taking their first steps
Step out and spread your wings. tiumentseva / 123RF Stock Photo

Here are some of the things that have helped me to grow in confidence since I started studying at university. They may not work for everyone, but hopefully they’ll get you thinking about some things that you might want to try yourself!

1. A part-time job

I know it may sound daunting to some people, especially if you haven’t had one before, but that’s the position that I was in myself in first year. I was terrified, and I’d only ever been to two job interviews before the one that landed me my job. However, I did get it, and started work a week later. It was nervewracking at first, dealing with customers and a whole workplace full of new people that I hadn’t met before, but after a couple of weeks I settled in much faster than I thought I would have done.

I stayed there for almost two years (it became too demanding to work alongside uni when I reached third year), and in this time I made new friends that I am still in contact with today, I gained the ability to work with the public confidently, and I found that because I’d gotten used to talking to new faces so regularly, I’d grown in confidence in other situations in my life. I wasn’t afraid to submit my writing work to competitions anymore, it wasn’t the end of the world when I came back in third year to a new group that I hadn’t been in before, and I just feel that I can talk to new people with much more ease than before. I feel better on nights out with friends of friends that I haven’t met. I really think it’s worth a try for anyone who struggles with these things.

2. A student society

This might be a better option for those who feel like a job would be a bit too demanding, or for people who want something regular to attend to break up their week/give them an escape from uni work/to meet new friends. Looking on the student union websites for most universities, there are a huge range of societies at every one of them.

At LJMU, this is the case: we have societies relating to courses, hobbies, sports, religions, races, gender/sexualities, and more. It seems almost impossible for there to not be at least one society that a student would be interested in/feel involved with. I personally went along to a few socials in first year, and really enjoyed them – they made me feel like I was in the same boat as all the other freshers that were obviously wanting to meet new people and settle in just as much as I was. You don’t even have to commit to one society, you can just join in with socials in the first few weeks of the semester if that works best for you – in my experience, every society was very friendly and chilled when it came to welcoming new people.

3. Getting involved in extra-curricular activities

I know this might sound a bit dull, but it really doesn’t have to be – you’d be surprised how different university opportunities can be compared to those at school or college. For example, the one opportunity I took advantage of was to write blog posts for businesses. Not only did I find this enjoyable, but I also got paid for doing it. It’s something that I can put on my CV as it ties in with my course and my career prospects, but it’s also something that I enjoyed doing, and felt very little pressure from.

It was scary at first, as I did have a good case of what my lecturer likes to call ‘imposter syndrome’. I was thinking to myself, why am I doing this? I’m not a professional writer… will they be able to tell? But, after submitting a few blog posts, I got very good feedback, and featured on the website for the most popular blog of the month. This obviously made me feel a great deal more confident, and I took myself more seriously as a writer. I’d really recommend getting involved with something like this, it’s just taking the first step and applying/getting in touch with people that is the biggest obstacle.

4. Creating your own blog, website or social media account

If you want to get your thoughts out there, or just want somewhere to vent, then creating your own blog might be an idea. You don’t have to have a passion for reading and writing; there are blogs about anything and everything out there, and that are written by people with different levels of experience. For example, I’ve never created my own blog previous to this, ironically because I didn’t have the confidence to put my own thoughts down and come up with the initial ideas on my own.

Despite this, and having only just started the blog recently, I can already feel myself becoming more confident in writing this way. I’m not saying that I’m particularly good at doing this, but even just giving it a try is enough – it’s a really good way of creating a portfolio for yourself and for future employers, whilst simultaneously becoming more confident in yourself and your work. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a blog – it might be an Instagram account for your photography or graphic design work, etc.

5. Ask for help

This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be struggling with something, just that you realise that you can always ask for help from those who can aid you in pushing your ideas further, or in developing skills that will be useful in your future. One way that this can be helpful is if you’re beginning to think about what types of careers you might want to pursue after university.

To make yourself feel more confident in achieving what you want to achieve, you could talk to the careers service at your university, or take a step out of your comfort zone and contact someone that already works in that field. Having this knowledge about the career will help you to gain clarity on what it is like, and what it requires from you. It will help you to be more confident in interviews, and when you start at a new job. You’ll also be used to contacting others (a lot of jobs require communication, which can be difficult for shy, introverted, or anxious people). It is much better to ask for help and gain the information that you’ll need for the future, whilst concurrently growing in confidence.

Got any better suggestions on how to become more confident? Leave them down in the comments, or email studenthideaway@gmail.com

This post was first published on the Student Hideaway blog.

For additional health and wellbeing support at LJMU, get in touch with the Student Advice team.


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