Confidence – The Best Thing You Can Bring With You To College

The transition from high school senior to college freshman sparks different reactions in people.

Those who embrace change and independence look forward to the autonomy they will have and the newness of their environments. Others are more intimidated by the uncertainty that going to college brings.

I remember feeling both anxious and excited the summer before my first year of college. I was ready to break away from what I knew and – no pun intended –  start fresh, but I was also worried about my ability to stand on my own and be a successful student. It’s natural to be a little nervous about your big move.

However, it doesn’t help you to be too nervous. In fact, the best thing you can bring with you to college is confidence. Being confident may be a little easier said than done, depending on your personality, but it can have a positive impact on your social and academic experience.

1. Interact. Starting your freshman year with a healthy dose of confidence will get you a long way socially. Whether you attend a university close to home, across the country, or somewhere in the middle, you will find yourself interacting with different types of people. Many of them will be older than you, simply because you’ll only be in your first year of college. Don’t let the upperclassmen intimidate you! They may have been on campus a little longer than you have, but you’re only separated by a couple of years. Feel free to use them as a resource, but don’t put them on a pedastol. At the end of the day, they’re simply your peers, and they’re still figuring things out for themselves.

2. Network. College is the best time to be who you are. Don’t waste your time trying to fit in or appeal to a particular crowd. Instead, focus your energy on finding out what makes you happy. Have the confidence to be yourself and pursue your interests. That’s the only way you’ll be able to make real and lasting connections with people who share your interests and/or genuinely like you as a person. College friends have the potential to be lifelong friends, or at the very least, people in your network who can help you in the future. Don’t let your freshman status hold you back from meeting as many people as you can and being yourself.

3. Participate. Confidence will help you in your academic pursuits as well. Stepping inside a 500 person lecture hall for the first time can be quite intimidating. It’s easy to blend in and be a passive student when there are so many people in your class. However, you shouldn’t let the large numbers deter you from participating. If you have a question, don’t be afraid to raise your hand to address your professor. If you know the answer to a question, don’t be afraid to do the same thing. It’ll allow the professor to learn your name and know you better. For my classes with big lecture halls, I like to sit near the front, either in the second or third row to make the space feel more intimate, and to remove the anxiety of speaking up with a large audience.

4. Communicate. You should also be confident when addressing your professors one-on-one, your advisors, or any other faculty, staff members, and authority you will interact with during your time in college. They will regard you as an adult and expect that you conduct yourself as one. The easiest way to boost your confidence is to be prepared. If you’re talking to your professor about a grade discrepancy, for example, make sure to bring your copy of the graded work and all other materials you need. If you’re being interviewed for an academic scholarship, have your transcript and resume ready and anticipate some of the questions you may be asked beforehand.

There are many things you can bring to college, and one of those things should definitely be your confidence!

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Pamela Nonga

Pamela Nonga

Pamela Nonga is a second year at the University of California Davis double majoring in Political Science and Communications. When she’s not theorizing about the greater meaning behind her day-to-day experiences on her blog, you can find her on a run, enjoying a blend of the outdoors and her favorite tunes. Pamela loves to read, write, and travel, and hopes to work in the fields of Journalism and Media as a career.
Pamela Nonga

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