You Do You: Self Confidence in College

There is no better feeling than feeling like yourself. To wake up in the morning and confidently say “I love myself” is such an empowering gesture. 

Freshman year of college is the perfect time to explore your many identities: sexual, physical, academic, musical, cultural...the list goes on. But, exploring new ways to express yourself can be detrimental, especially when you’re far from home and making new friends. It becomes too much and you don’t know where you’ll end up.

A year ago I entered my freshman year not knowing who I wanted to be. New York City offered so much inspiration; my head spun constantly and didn’t know where to stop. I experimented through my style, the music I listened to and by forcing myself outside of my comfort zone. Standing out was my goal. But my efforts didn’t triumph. 

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Looking back on the girl I was a year ago, I don’t recognize myself in her. She thought she was confident, but in reality she was just looking to blend in. She felt like she had to be different from everyone else because everyone at her new school was different from the rest of American college kids. But she wasn’t comfortable in her new wardrobe, or listening to the music her classmates talked about. 

When I went home for summer break, I rediscovered the woman I want to be—and enjoy being for that matter. Being with my friends and family reminded me that I’m just as cool in suburbia as I am in Manhattan. When I moved back to New York in August, I decided to bring that version of myself with me. We all need a little grounding to gain confidence. It reminded me that the clothes I wear, music I listen to or makeup I apply do not matter in the long run. What matters is how you feel when you look in the mirror.

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When you look in the mirror, make sure that you recognize yourself. That can mean applying green eyeliner à la Euphoria or just a swipe of mascara. That can also mean wearing the shoes everyone else is wearing or the shoes no one would ever dare to wear. Once you feel like yourself, the confidence to take on the world will follow. It’s a constant struggle, but we’re all working on it. Don’t let others bring you down. You do you.

As seen on GIPHY by Qieer Wang