Developing Confidence at University

How can undergraduates equip themselves with confidence for the ‘real world’?

Shamail Hussain
3 min readMay 5, 2021
Photo by Mikael Kristenson on Unsplash

With confidence being one of the most valuable traits to have in every single aspect of life, this can often be discouraging for those of us who perhaps don’t instantly project beams of self-assurance and long for the ability to effortlessly present ourselves in this way.

When thinking back to a school environment, I am certain that everyone is able to pinpoint the names and faces of the groups of students who could easily speak for days without thinking twice. Once reaching a university environment however, suddenly the potential to be this confident and self-assured individual is in your hands, and also appears to become more and more necessary as we edge towards entering a job in the ‘real world’.

At what point do we all just become confident adults?

Undergraduate students are undeniably aware of how vital of a trait confidence is to have, yet can sometimes be so difficult to achieve. We may initially long for this magical turning point to become just like all the successful and established adults we watch as we grow up. However, I think the real pivotal point in establishing this invaluable trait is to recognise that it can only be achieved through taking an active role in trying to improve ourselves. Personally, the process of developing confidence began as appearing so daunting and at times unattainable. The thought of having to tackle your own mind is likely to initiate an immediate sense of unease, but it is important to recognise that you are the only person who can directly control your thought processes, often achieved through confidence testing experiences.

What can I do to be more confident?

My university carried out confidence sessions to which I also initially approached with apprehension, but I quickly realised all the skills required to appear confident are widely available, it is the way our mind chooses to trust ourselves in utilising these skills to increase our confidence that have the influence. Therefore, I think that the real pivotal point revolves around initially adapting your internal mindset to stop working against you and fuelling a sense of dread and uncertainty, and replacing this with a more logical and concise thought process. I was also encouraged to deliver a presentation, of which asserted that nothing is ever as visibly terrible as you may predict, and doing such tasks is the most useful way at becoming more confident at them.

Photo by Headway on Unsplash

‘Fake it ’til you make it’

I think that the cliché above carries a lot more value than we would probably like to admit. Only we have access to our thoughts, therefore even if you internally feel unequipped to appear confident in a specific situation or task, gradually easing yourself into it with the desire to improve instead of avoid will ultimately produce confident and successful outcomes. Also realising that there is façade of perfection we may associate with someone we view as confident, will make us more accepting of when we may not have quite so perfect outcomes.