All throughout my time in high-school I had to wear a uniform, and we were not allowed to wear any jewelry, makeup, nail polish, or basically any other accessory. It was easy; I woke up, put on my uniform, and headed out to school. This was probably one of the reasons why I was so nervous coming into U of T. Obviously I did have my own style before, but never had I had to wear it to class. Sure, lectures aren’t runways, but whenever I looked around I always felt like everyone looked more put together than me, or at least felt more comfortable. I would always see other students go up to the professors so confidently, or perhaps they’d participate in class and the professor would know their name. I kept on wondering how could someone possibly be so sure about what they were doing. It didn’t take me long to realize that everyone around me was also pretty nervous.
In high school my friends knew me for my personality, not for what I wore. Coming to university, I’ve learned how to make my personality shine through what I wear. I’ve discovered that when I act confident, I end up truly feeling that way, too.
Sometimes, putting an extra 5 minutes into planning my outfit the night before can help me have a much better day. Not necessarily because of what people might think about it, but rather because it’s an outfit that I like, and when I feel confident, I tend to have more productive days. And when I have a productive day, I feel even better with myself. Another way for me to do this is playing around with my makeup. I didn’t grow up wearing make-up. In fact, I only started experimenting with it once I came here, so I’m not necessarily the best at it. However, trying out different colours and shades gives me a thrill that lasts me the whole day. Even if you’re not “good” at it, why not give it a chance? It might spark something inside you that you didn’t know you had!
Finally, I like reminding myself that feeling cute isn’t always the most important thing. Being in huge classes can so easily make me feel insecure. My favourite trick, as simple as it may sound, is going to tutorials. Why? Simply because they’re smaller classes, and knowing my TAs help me feel more confident about what I’m learning. The next step from there is talking to my TA or even my professor, once either of them knows me I feel ready to dive right into the material we’re learning. As school approaches, I’m already starting to think about how I’m going to go about it this year. Small changes in the way I carry myself and even in how I introduce myself to others can help me feel confident, and I’m determined to stick to it.