5 Ways to Remain Confident Throughout Your Studies
Embarking on a course of study can be extremely exciting. After all, you’re ushering in a new era of your life, where the knowledge and skills gained from this course will open up doors to your next career opportunity and see you soar. You’re thirsty for the knowledge and you can’t wait to get going.
But inevitably, you’ll hit a point where you start to doubt yourself. Perhaps your assignment is harder than you’d expected, or you’re over committed in other areas of your life. Perhaps your marks aren’t what you’d hoped, and you start to wonder whether you’re really cut out for studying after all. The finish line seems a long way off. We can assure you that a boost in your confidence, paired with resilience and drive, can help to get you through. Keep your eyes on the prize with these tips.
1. Break large goals into smaller ones
If facing down a large assignment feels daunting, break it down. Make a list of the readings, create an outline, start putting together your notes for each section and then write the assignment. Or break it down in another way that feels more manageable to you. The important thing is that by chopping a large task into smaller, more achievable ones, you can lessen the feeling of overwhelm. Then you can approach the task at hand with a more confident approach, and work through the steps methodically.
2. Do a brain dump
Especially useful when you don’t know where to start with an assignment, a brain dump consists of writing down everything you know about a topic. Don’t worry about structure or referencing at this stage, just grab a large piece of paper or a whiteboard and write things down. It’ll serve as a visual reminder of just how much you have absorbed, even if you don’t feel like you have, and ‘downloading’ that information from your brain frees up thinking power to organise it into a coherent argument.
3. Make connections
As a distance learning, online or external student, you can feel quite isolated at times if you’re going at it alone. Seek out connections with other students where possible – whether that’s via meet up groups, online discussion boards or Skype catch ups, for example. Just having other people to run your problems past can go a long way to reassuring you that you’re all in the same boat and you can make it through. AIB graduates and married couple Ann and Tom Sexton studied their MBAs at the same time, and as a result, were able to keep each other on track. Watch their story here.
4. Maintain your health
Your mood is susceptible to a number of things, and if you’re eating poorly and not exercising, you’re more likely to feel disheartened. When you’re feeling worried about studies, the last thing you want to do is take time out and go for a run, but it is time well invested, and the chances are good that you’ll come back feeling invigorated and motivated again.
5. Present the best you
What does dressing well and walking tall have to do with your academic pursuits? A fair amount, it seems. Research shows that self-confidence is a good predictor of academic achievement, and when we feel good about ourselves, we do well. Making the effort to stand up tall, dress with care and practice positive thinking can all add up to a happier – and smarter – you.
What do you think?
How did you remain confident throughout your studies? Did you find confidence was crucial to your success? If you’re currently studying or have completed your degree, comment to share your experience below.
This article was written by Tanya Ashworth-Keppel on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources were used to compile this article: Edutopia, American Psychological Association, Science Direct.