February 27, 2017, by Words on Words

A Chat about Confidence

This blog post was written by second year English student, Rhiannon Morris.

For a lot of people confidence is incredibly challenging, especially when it comes to public speaking. Looking back on when I first started university, it’s clear to see that I’ve changed for the better in terms of my confidence, and starting university will most likely do the same for you. This blog is about learning to develop your confidence for situations that you may well encounter during your university experience. Some of you might have already experienced these things, and not realised how they will have helped you on a long-term basis.

  1. Even if you think your confidence is the lowest it can be, the very experience of going to university will have given you a bit of a boost through being thrust into a new place, with new people from all different backgrounds to interact with! Going to university itself takes a lot of confidence as you may have to move away from the familiar surroundings of your home to a (sometimes) completely different place, often not knowing a single person. Through doing this, you’ve overcome the first hurdle.

  1. For those who spend the first year in halls of residence, you are required to talk to new people and get to know people you wouldn’t typically socialise with. This need is heightened by living with them 24/7. These sorts of daily encounters will have helped your confidence, if only on a small scale, as you will have had to get to know all of the new people suddenly surrounding you.

  1. In order to make the most of the learning opportunities available, you can’t really get by without taking part in group discussions and contributing your own ideas. In these circumstances, you will have to work with people you may have never spoken to before, and collaborate with them to make the most of your time and learning. As an English student, a lot of important ideas will come from your peers, so take the time to listen to what they have to say and make sure you input your own opinions, which will be equally valuable to others.

  1. For me, the biggest hurdle in terms of confidence was public speaking. This has been the hardest thing to overcome during my time at university so far. It might sound mad to you now, but to conquer these fears it is better to face them head on. Despite the nerves and shakes prior to the big event, there is always a huge sense of relief and accomplishment after standing up and doing something that has always been a huge hurdle. It’s pretty unlikely that you’re going to get through uni life without doing some sort of presentation, whether it be in a group or by yourself. My tips for situations like this would be to practice and to know what you’re saying: there’s nothing worse than standing in front of a group of people without being prepared. The biggest barrier is the first time you do it – after that, it will get progressively easier!

Rhiannon Morris

[Featured images: University of Nottingham Image Bank]

Posted in Student Words