Confidence in College: How to Gain a Positive Self Image

Story by Allison Striech
Photo Illustration by Anne Langan

The thought that you are one student walking amongst the 25,000+ other students at CMU can be very intimidating. Scary, even.

Not feeling confident with yourself is something that’s easy to slip into when seeing all of your peers’ successes. Your college experience doesn’t have to be filled with that negativity, though. To make sure you make the best of your final schooling years, creating a positive self-image of yourself is essential.

Luckily, those negative thoughts can be shifted and changed, all by yourself.

Stop Comparing Yourself
You can easily start to feel filled to the brim with jealousy if you are always comparing other’s skills, talents, abilities and personalities to your own. Perfection is publicized everywhere nowadays, especially as social media becomes more and more prevalent in our everyday lives.

Wanting someone else’s public life might sound like something you really wish to have, because life would be so much easier, right?

You would finally have that beach body, ability to make everyone laugh or ace all your homework assignments like you’ve been wishing for so long. Well, not exactly.

The thing about social media and public happiness is that most of the time, people just show the world the positive aspects of their life. They want others to see how happy they’ve been and leave out the alternatives, but in reality, no one’s life is perfect and you never know what others are going through.

You’re an individual. You bring so many unique characteristics to the table. Be the best possible person you can be, and don’t worry about what might come naturally to others. You have one body, one life to live and one story to tell. Make a positive change for your life, love yourself for who you are and spread joy.

Practice Self-love
Finding things that you love about yourself can be extremely challenging. We all go through low points and it might seem like nothing you’re doing is right or you’re just not good enough.

Loving yourself is so important in order to be confident. Start by writing a list of the things you love about yourself. Think about all the blessings in your life. Ask your friends what they most admire about you. Hearing the positivity and realizing that you’re something special can result in a 180 degree spin on your mood – for the better!

Be a priority in your life. – you’re you for a reason. No one can be you, so put yourself out there and love every part of your body, mind, and personality for exactly how it is! By radiating positivity and self-love, your confidence level will skyrocket.

The greatness doesn’t stop there, though. By shining and being your true self and loving it, you’re going to serve as a role model to so many people. Plenty of other students are out there feeling the same negative thoughts about themselves. Those people will pick up on your confidence, making CMU’s campus a better environment through a chain reaction.

Cheer Each Other On
All students are at Central Michigan striving for the same goal: success. It’s a tough process and no one said it was going to be easy.

It is easy to sometimes feel like no matter how hard you try, your hard work isn’t paying off. It seems like you’re putting so much effort in, but getting nothing in return.

Everyone struggles, but by spreading positivity, giving compliments and letting people know you appreciate them, you can make campus a much more comfortable place. Supporting each other, being a backbone and pushing others to make sure they reach their goals is something that can definitely boost confidence levels. You will feel more confident in yourself, realizing that it was you who helped make a difference and they will feel the same, acknowledging that someone is there for them that cares about their successes.

“Confidence is key. If you don’t believe in yourself, then nobody will.”


Remember: If this doesn’t come easy to you, there are also very reliable resources available on campus to help you through your journey.

By getting involved in specific clubs and organizations, it will become possible to talk about your struggles while still feeling appreciated in a nonjudgmental group setting.

Counseling is available to those in need. If you or someone you know could benefit from CMU’s counseling services to gain a positive self-image, please contact the counseling office at (989) 774-3381.