Confidence is a character trait that my mother instilled in my sisters and I since childhood. Growing up in a home with four other women was chaotic, to say the least. There were many insecurities and differences between us. But our mother always told us to be strong, independent women who worked hard to earn our recognition, helping us gain accolades and empowering us to obtain college degrees. She taught us that beauty is skin deep and that we didn’t need any man to complete us.
As an 18-year-old, I wasn’t sure where I was going in life and entering college was a completely new experience that no one in my family had achieved before. I had no one to go to for advice or whose in which to follow. This impacted my confidence and it ultimately held me back from potentially great times. Looking back now, there was nothing to actually be afraid of.
Here are five things I wish I could have told myself a few years ago about confidence.
1. You Don’t Need Anyone’s Approval
Asking for other people’s opinions is fine but don’t let their perspective overtake your own. It’s okay to want to know what other people think about a decision that you’re debating but ultimately it’s up to you. It’s your life and you have full control over it. Believe me, if you don’t take challenges head on, you’ll regret it.
2. Continue Your Passions
This is relevant to the first point. I know you’re tired from a hectic high school schedule. You took on a full load of classes, on top of being captain of the girls cross country/track team. It wasn’t easy but the most important aspect of it all was the feeling of accomplishment afterwards. Join the track team your freshman year of college and don’t be intimidated by the other members. We all have to start somewhere, even if it’s from the very bottom again.
3. Join That Club You Keep Eyeing
You keep seeing flyers in the hallway and staircases about that editing club. By this point, you’ve figured out you want to be a journalist and perhaps, even an editor. Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone and talk to strangers. Becoming an editor for the review journal at school will not only look great on your resume but it’s also fulfilling. You’ll get to read different genres and writing styles, all while helping your peers get published. Plus, everyone in the club is welcoming and funny. Get involved with any of the things that interest you.
4. Don’t Get Lazy, Push Yourself
You may have gotten into the college of your first choice but that doesn’t mean to stop working as the year begins. Having the liberty to create your own schedule lets you start school in the afternoon, but don’t take advantage. Find ways to stay busy and work towards your goals. Junior year will be the complete opposite of your relaxing paradise right now.
5. Follow Your Gut
This advice won’t fail you. You know yourself best and what you want. You will definitely feel lost sometimes but if you take some time to think, you’ll find solutions. Even if things don’t always work out quite the way you wanted them to, it’ll all be okay. Regardless of who stays in your life, your gut will always help you find your way.