A student’s guide to building self-confidence

4th June 2021

As part of our commitment to shining a light on the issues that matter most to young people, we reached out to our Student Ambassadors to talk about their thoughts, feelings and concerns for the future. In this blog, Amiira shares her experience of building her confidence in sixth form.

“Confidence always stands out in people. You can tell the difference between those who are confident and those who are not. People with confidence are usually ambitious, resilient and willing to learn.

In Year 12, I developed my self-confidence as I realised I had to step out on my own and make a pathway for myself. From primary school to Year 11, everyone in your year is typically doing the same thing, which is completely fine, but in year 12 I had to learn that I needed to discover myself and my identity; not for my friend or classmate, but for me in order to understand what I believe in and what I stand for as a person.

Year 12 was a big leap for me in terms of self-confidence. Most of my friends didn’t attend the same sixth form as me, so I had to make new friends and step out of my comfort zone. I was a bit anxious and had a lot of worries at first, but I soon became comfortable with the support of others around me, like my classmates and teachers.

Likewise, when we began to do exams, I was originally uncomfortable with standing out; when I did well or when I didn’t do as great, everyone knew as we were in much smaller classes, which made me reflect on my strengths and weaknesses a lot more. This helped me build my character as I began to set goals to accomplish in a set amount of time, whether it was revising or signing up for an extra-curricular activities that I could include on my personal statement. I became true to myself and took accountability over the things that I didn’t do or that I could’ve done better.

The people you surround yourself with also has a big effect on your confidence and work ethic. They can play a huge role on your motivation and values in life and can determine how you approach the hurdles that you face throughout life. I saw those around me work hard and succeed, which motivated me to do the same. After a while, I started to take my studies into my own hands. In free periods or independent study sessions at school, it is really easy to get distracted by your friends, but it is important to use them for work. A mindset that has worked for me is: the more I do today, the less I have for tomorrow. That being said, it is important to take regular breaks to avoid burnout and more often than not, when you come back to your work, your mind will be fresh and you will be able to work more effectively.

Overall, my advice to you is do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and instead start actively putting yourself out there. You may discover interests and passions for subjects that aren’t as well known and you will develop your communication skills, your public speaking skills and so much more.”

Click here to meet our Access Aspiration Student Ambassadors.