Freshers week is the most highly anticipated time at university. It is your first experience of total freedom and the opportunity to make tonnes of new friends. But, as much as you may look forward to it, everyone finds the first week of university daunting. Launched into adult life and surrounded by people you don’t know, it can be easy to feel shy. So we have compiled the best advice for faking confidence in freshers week that will help you to settle into your new life.
Keep things in perspective
Freshers week is by far the most social week of your university experience. You will have to introduce yourself to at least five new people each day, make small talk and even go out partying with some of these strangers. So, if you’re more introverted, the likelihood is that you will feel awkward at some point, but you shouldn’t let that shatter your confidence.
First of all, remember that everyone else is in the exact same boat as you. While extroverts may seem to deal with this situation more easily than you, they too have been thrust into this new and unfamiliar way of life and will undoubtedly be feeling the same nerves and insecurities. Don’t feel embarrassed if you stumble over your words or go a bit quiet. People will understand. Secondly, even if you really don’t gel with someone straight away, know that there are so many other students beyond your flat or course mates. If worse comes to worst, you have plenty of opportunities to try again with other people.
Make the first move
Making the first move and introducing yourself can be a great way to fake confidence. No matter how you are truly feeling, approaching someone else establishes you as a self-assured and friendly person. It also allows you to be in control of a situation and lead a conversation in a way that you feel comfortable with.
Although this may seem easier said than done if you’re feeling shy, just remember that they’re probably feeling just as nervous as you are. If you’re hanging around, waiting for them to make the first move, they will undoubtedly be thinking the exact same thing, so don’t feel awkward about it.
Admit to feeling nervous
Feeling nervous and appearing confident may seem to be at odds but admitting to your anxieties can actually impress people. Your honesty will show that you’re not insecure about the difficulties of freshers week and may encourage others who feel the same to open up to you.
It may also relieve some of the nerves that you are experiencing. By openly accepting the fact that freshers week can be intimidating, you will realise that there is nothing to be embarrassed about and therefore no need to feel awkward.
Freshers week is full of opportunities to meet people and enjoy new experiences. While this can be overwhelming, the best thing you can do is say yes to as much as you can. By getting stuck in, not only will you appear confident, but you will also feel more confident by breaking down your barriers and overcoming any reservations.
Of course, you don’t have to say yes to literally everything. There will be times that something is just too far out of your comfort zone or maybe makes you feel unsafe. On those occasions, trusting your instinct can also show confidence, just don’t let saying no get in the way of experiences that might actually be fun.
A lot of people go into freshers week with a desire to reinvent themselves. After all, you’re around an entirely new group of people who know nothing about you. But, as tempting as it may be, it’s much better to just be yourself. Although you may feel some pressure to lie or exaggerate stories to seem cool, people will see through it soon enough which could lead to embarrassing or awkward situations later on.
Instead, it’s helpful to know that people at university are much more mature than they were at sixth form. The judgmental and pressurised environment that you may have experienced as a teenager is far from what you will find at uni. People are much more accepting, so being your authentic self will only make you appear more confident than someone who lies.
Freshers week, for all the fun and excitement, can also feel like a disorganised mess. Without a parent around, there will be piles of washing up, no one will be able to work the oven and everyone will get lost on campus. But, if you can be on top of all of these things, you will naturally appear more confident and put together.
Once you’ve got the hang of things, offer to help your flatmates. You’ll gain a good reputation with them, even if you struggle to make conversation in other situations.
Join a society
Throwing yourself into different activities is a good way to find confidence in freshers week and if you’re looking for something to get involved with then societies are the best place to start. With so much variety (from sports to Harry Potter societies) there will definitely be a space that’s perfect for you.
Doing something you love with people who share an interest is the perfect place to grow your confidence in freshers week. Feeling like you belong somewhere will help you to settle in from day one.