What’s Wrong with Being Confident?

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To finally answer Demi Lovato’s seemingly rhetorical question, no, there’s nothing wrong with being confident. But rather than asking, “What’s wrong with being confident?,” you should ask, “How do I become confident?” In high school you felt like the top dog, the ”it” person. Your mom may have made you feel special when you were younger, but that feeling dissipates as you sit in a 400-seat lecture hall, vying for your professor’s attention. Don’t fade into the background because you lack the confidence in yourself to stand out among the crowd. So what do you do when you find yourself knocked down?

The Sky’s the Limit

Any university you attend is bound to offer a million different clubs for you to join and activities to try. From studying abroad to career internships and to even meeting new people in student organizations, the opportunities are endless. But if you lack the confidence in yourself to go seek out these chances to try something new, then that sail boating class may feel out of your reach. “Try everything, because you don’t really know what makes you happy until you explore all your options. Once you find what makes you happy, your confidence boosts from there,” University of Wisconsin-Madison senior Angel Lee said. Don’t limit yourself because you think you can’t participate in a club because you’re shy or think you’re not as smart as the other students. The second you limit yourself on what you can or cannot do, you not only hurt your self esteem, but you also never allow yourself to take the risks to succeed. Take some advice from Jason Derulo and fly. The sky’s the limit.

Believe in Yourself

The toughest critic you’ll ever face is yourself. You are your own worst enemy, and if you want to give yourself a confidence boost, you’ll have to give yourself a break. A friend aces his English paper while you while you sit on a C and berate yourself for lacking smarts or a killer work ethic. Don’t belittle yourself just because of one grade you received in a class that makes you think you’re not as intelligent as the rest of your classmates. You are as smart as your friend who aced her biology exam–you just have to believe it. Though it may seem so simple and cliché, believing in yourself will definitely give you the confidence you need to achieve success in college and your career.

Don’t be Afraid to Stand Out in the Crowd

You stand out of a crowd because you’re different, but it isn’t a bad thing, it just means you have a uniqueness to you that no one else but you possesses. While your gals may wear high heels and you wear sneakers, don’t feel self-conscious or shy because, like Taylor Swift, you chose comfort instead of painful blisters. Just because you don’t look like everyone else doesn’t mean you should cower in the corner with a hoodie covering your face. Whatever unique trait you possess should make you feel bolder and proud that you don’t fit in with everyone else. Embrace what you are and who you are. Instead of viewing your differences as a weakness, see them as a strength that gives you an advantage over others. As Dr. Seuss says, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

Surround Yourself with Positive People

You shouldn’t be a Debbie Downer and neither should your friends. Surrounding yourself with negativity only creates more negativity. Cultivating a positive attitude about life and about school is contagious, but unfortunately so is the reverse. However, if you and your friends give each other a pat on the back every now and then and encourage one another to do well, you are more likely to successfully accomplish your goals and dreams in college. “If your friends are super motivated to do well in school then you will also do well [in] school [and] make studying a social thing,” UW-Madison Senior Monay Robinson said. While feeling discouraged is easy, Robinson said that’s the time when students must speak up and reach out to their friends to give them the extra encouragement they need.

You’re Not Alone

Whether you attend a big university or a small college, you aren’t alone. Whatever school you go to, I guarantee that a couple thousand other students are experiencing the same exact problems or emotions that you are. One of the most important aspects of college is to remember these are all people you can talk to or reach out to for help if you need it. “I spent my first two years of college with friends who were not really friends at all because they did not build me up. My junior year, though, I finally found friends who support me and push me and it did wonders for my confidence,” University of Purdue senior Kirsten Andersson said. Your professors may not fully understand what problems you face, but they act as another resource that points you in the right direction for additional help.

Anne is a sophomore studying journalism and history at University of Wisconsin-Madison. A native Wisconsinite, Anne loves all things Wisconsin including sporting events, the outdoors and its summer concerts.

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