How to Use College to Build Your Confidence During Freshman Year
It’s tough to build your confidence in high school when you’re not even sure who you want to be and you’re having to conform to someone else’s idea of what is cool and accepted. That’s where college can be extremely beneficial. It helps you find your voice while also finding your way professionally.
But it’s only possible to arrive at who you want to be if you put in the work to conscientiously build your confidence and become the You you were meant to be. In the following article, we’re going to give you seven brief actions you can take during your freshman year to set the course for success in life. Let’s begin!
1. Take Stock of Your High School Friendships
Some high school relationships were built to last. Others, not so much. But what makes a friendship strong versus one that doesn’t stand the test of time? Now is the time to figure it out.
Obviously, if there is something more than proximity bringing you together, then you will be able to keep those relationships strong beyond high school. If not, no biggie. It just wasn’t meant to be. Friendships aren’t meant to be more work than reward. That’s not to say they require no work at all. They do. But you should always feel like they breathe life into you, not drain it.
Take this time away from the people you grew up with to see if those relationships are truly worth holding on to. If they’re not, then make peace with letting them go. Freeing up space in your life will lead you to stronger relationships in college.
2. Figure Out Where You Fit In Then
After you’ve taken stock of the friendships you had in high school, see if you can define what your role in them was. Were you the class clown, the serious bookworm, the cool kid? Did you have elements of all three?
You might not feel comfortable giving yourself a label. Look at it this way. You’re not labeling yourself but your behaviors. In so doing, you’re taking a look at the intersection of what comes naturally and how others see you. Doing this exercise will help you align those two elements more closely, and you’ll be able to set yourself up on a path for success.
3. Take a Closer Look at Where You Want to Be
We hinted at this part of it in the end of No. 2, but it deserves its own spot on this list. For starters, identifying where it is you belong in the dynamics of your social relationships will give you what you may have been lacking up to this point: control.
During high school, it’s really difficult to feel like we control any aspect of ourselves because, in many ways, we don’t. Parents tell us when to be home, when to go to bed, where we can and can’t go. Maybe we obey them, maybe we don’t. That’s not the point. The point is that we have these restrictions placed on us that we no longer have when we go to college.
Now that we’re at college, why not focus some of that newfound independence on where we want to hang out, how we want to be perceived, and whom we would like to share time with?
4. Look at Clubs and Activities That Align
If you’ve put in the work to this point, then you should have a better idea of what’s out there for you at your new college home. If you haven’t, well, now is the time to start! The great thing about going to college is that there are thousands of other people looking to do the same thing you’re setting out to do. Find their tribe.
Sit down at a computer and get to know the opportunities that are available to you as a freshman. What are the sororities and fraternities? What clubs and organizations are active on campus? Any extracurricular activities that you would want to sign up for?
Whatever you do, pick something that aligns with the new understanding that you have of yourself. Don’t just try to emulate your high school career unless you feel those years represented who you really were and whom you’re hoping to become.
5. Make Time for a Social Life
In all this planning, it might not occur to you that a social life is in order. Social life is important, and it doesn’t have to be toxic. Don’t fall for the stereotypes of hard-partying college students that couldn’t care less about their futures. That’s not you.
Realize that balance will bring you the most happiness in whatever you do. Make sure the people you hang out with share that view of the world, and then it will be easier to watch out for one another during social activities. It’s also easier to get to know yourself in a larger city (if you’re going to college in or near one) if you’re traveling as a crew.
6. Excel in the Classroom
The classroom is still important to your confidence. Never forget that. For starters, there is the ability to earn good grades and hit the Dean’s List. For another, what you’re really good at will guide you toward a major and a career path that makes you more confident of being on the right track.
Furthermore, falling short in the classroom can give you a better idea that you’re on the wrong path, or it can provide you with some coping skills that get you over the hump. These can prove useful in other walks of life, whether future classes or jobs.
7. Realize It Is a Journey
The desire to build your confidence is one that can lead you down many different paths. Don’t worry if you fail to figure it all out at once. You’ll get there. Think of it as a journey. As long as you build a plan for where you are going, it will be able to withstand any wrong turns or dips in the road.
Use These Tips to Help Build Your Confidence
As you work to build your confidence, you will start to see opportunities arise to use these tips more and more every day. We hope that they will be there at-the-ready for you as needed. Now it’s your turn. If you’re already in college, what has helped you build confidence during freshman year and beyond? If not, what are you most concerned about?
[Featured Image by PsyCat Games]