Rebuilding my Confidence in 2021

Like many (if not most) of us, I experienced some exhaustion, feelings of isolation, and overall mental health difficulties in 2020. Coming back to school was a difficult change of pace after being home for so long, and although I was so happy to be back, I struggled to balance everything. I constantly stressed about having something on my social calendar, whether it was a simple zoom call or a dinner, and any moment I spent alone felt endless.

While I used to cherish my alone time, more and more it felt like I was being mocked for being by myself. I found it hard to do anything alone, and I grew insecure about being isolated and away from my friends.

Coming back this spring, I feared the same patterns would set in. But, I have worked on finding balance in my life and practicing little things each day to get me back to a better, more confident version of myself. Here are some things I’ve learned along the way:

Don’t be afraid to let go of people, but keep the good ones around

This was a big one for me, and it was really tough. Often, it can be so easy to feel like we are not social enough, and that feeling pushed me to be friends with people who really weren’t willing to give as much to the relationship. Especially now, it is so important to surround yourself with those who are willing to support you and care for you in the way you need.

Get exercise as often as possible

This can be anything from a walk to a little gym session. I usually try to walk to another part of campus to study and just get out of the dorm. Something as simple as that can work wonders.

Organize yourself

Every night before bed I try to plan out the next day: What work do I have to get done? What appointments do I have? Who am I seeing? Flesh out all the logistics so you feel at ease (and if you’re like me, you may even plan out your outfit for the next day).

Revel in alone time

Anytime during this last semester that I was alone, all I could think about was seeing people. Rather than take advantage of the time I had, I would spiral into an anxious tizzy. Now, anytime I’m alone, I try my best to enjoy it by 1) recognizing that this is not a permanent state, and I can easily make plans with friends and 2) giving myself something to do. If I know I will have a night alone, I will usually reserve it to catch up on shows, watch a movie I’ve been meaning to see, or take an extra-long shower. Make it fun!

Invest (or reinvest) in activities you love

My passion, ever since I was about seven, has been sewing. I love to design and sew my own clothing, and at home, I will spend hours in my sewing room. Now that I’m at school though, I don’t have that same luxury. This spring semester, I decided to prioritize fashion, as it had always been a huge part of my life. This manifested itself in me joining a fashion magazine as both a stylist and model and I couldn’t be more excited!