Students especially teenagers can feel nervous and unsure when they start a new course and may lack confidence in social situations. This is my guide on how to build confidence as a student.
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Look after yourself. This means ensuring you are getting your five portions of fruit and veg a day, getting regular exercise (and I don't mean walking to the nearest MacDonald's), and attending to your personal hygiene. Yes, I do sound like a nagging mum here and yes my son is in uni but these points are important.
If you feel good on the inside and look good on the outside then your confidence will soar. It's worth learning to cook a few simple and nutrious dishes before you move out and investing in a student cookbook. My favourite is 'Grub On A Grant'.
I know it doesn't really need to be said but personal grooming is so important. Showering every day and applying antiperspirants is essential as well as styling your hair, cutting your nails and brushing your teeth. Simple things that really do matter, and can make you look well groomed and build confidence.
Exercise can relieve stress and promote confidence and well-being. Some student unions have a gym you can join at a reduced price, or look out for exercise classes locally. If you are on a very tight budget don't forget walking or jogging is free.
Wear clean clothing, learn to use an iron and learn how to use the washing machine. I remember showing my son how to use the one in his halls of residence, and coming across a line of confused freshers all looking puzzled too!
Create your own social life
Don't feel you have to conform to the stereotype that all students like to drink alcohol. If that type of partying lifestyle isn't you, then find other ways to socialise.
The student union often has a variety of clubs and societies, from gaming, to running, film, to art. You can find out about these at the Freshers Fair. If nothing appeals look at the listings in the local free magazine, you may find a new hobby and interest and make friends along the way.
If you find people you get along with on your course or you share accommodation with, then why not invite them out for a meal, a trip to the cinema or bowling? This is the time to make new friends and many are in the same situation as you and will feel unsure too, so take a deep breath and invite them.
Make use of university services
Some universities and colleges offering mentoring services to ease the transition to university and often these mentors are past or present students. They are often at the end of an email and you can meet them in person if you need too. They can answer your questions and help ease the transition, so if you are not sure of something, ask them.
If you feel overwhelmed and have no one to turn to there are counselling services available that can be a great help.
Get a job
If you are considering getting a job (and for some this may their first job), as well as helping you out financially it can really boost confidence and teach you many life skills such as team building and working with others. Just be sure not to work too much that your course work suffers.
Getting a job at uni also shows you work hard and is excellent work experience to put on your C.V.
So these are my tips on how to gain confidence as a fresher. Do you have any tips? How did you boost your confidence at university or college?