5 Easy Tips to Boost Your Low Self-Esteem While at University | Top Universities

5 Easy Tips to Boost Your Low Self-Esteem While at University

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Belkis Megraoui

Updated Apr 26, 2019



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University life can be great – challenging but in turn, rewarding. Often, the challenges we face during this transformative stage of our lives can have a mixture of effects on our emotional and mental wellbeing, and low self-esteem is often one of these.

Luckily, there are countless ways in which we can tackle feelings relating to low self-confidence, lack of self-belief, or general feelings of inferiority – and yes, they work!

Read on for these five useful tips on improving your self-esteem and making the most out of university life.

1. You have skills (outside your academic ones) – don’t ignore them.


Being a student at university, I cannot fault you for not finding the time to participate in your favorite activities outside of academia. However, it’s crucial to realize the importance of preserving your non-academic skillset and ensuring you maintain a positive relationship with your personal world outside university. Reminding yourself of your talents, strengths and abilities as an individual is just as important in building your low self-esteem as it is in forming close bonds and relationships with like-minded people. Having a fun routine outside your university life will also help you to stay refreshed, and will in fact increase your focus, help keep you organized and boost productivity. Moreover, giving yourself a challenge and stepping outside your comfort zone will make you realize your potential, leading you to feel very proud of yourself and then voila – goodbye low self-esteem.

2. Make time for the people (and things) you love


I can’t stress the importance of this when it comes to improving low self-esteem. It could just mean grabbing your favorite beverage and snacks, and sitting down to read your favorite book, watch your favorite movie or TV series, or spend quality time with your loved ones and pets. Being around those you love and care about is vital in helping you to build a healthy relationship with yourself, as it makes you realize your worth and how capable you are of receiving and giving love. In the same way, doing things you genuinely enjoy allows you the space in which you can almost escape to your own little world in-between studies or work, and helps you to be more creative and stay in touch with your unique thoughts, imagination and self-awareness as an individual.

A little bit of escapism every now and again is healthy – speaking of which, if you’re still at university, you’re probably still powering through that stressful exam period, and what better way to relax and unwind than with this list of stimulating but easy-to-read short stories and novels?

3. Work on being the best version of yourself



I know what you’re thinking: ‘You’re amazing, you must learn to love yourself, blah, blah, blah’ – it sounds so cliché and you’ve likely heard it a million times before, but instead of saying ‘you’re amazing the way you are’, I’m going to be a bit of a rebel and say ‘you’re amazing the way you want to be’ – ah, do you see what I did there?

You’ll need to be willing to put in the hard work and make changes. Really, there’s no sugar-coating this. If you want to learn to love yourself, the first thing you’ll need to do is take care of yourself – yes, and that includes your physical appearance (oops, I said it). Of course, everybody has their own version of ‘looking good and feeling good’, and that’s honestly the beauty of it. So, don’t be afraid to express yourself in the ways which make you feel happy and confident, and try your best not to conform to societal expectations. (Another cliché and probably easier said than done, I know). Being comfortable in your own skin is absolutely crucial, and when you love yourself, this will undoubtedly begin to reflect on the way you behave, the way you treat others and the decisions you make in life – yes, it goes that deep!

4. Practice generosity and help those less fortunate than yourself


Sure, treating yourself and focusing on your own personal needs is beneficial to your state of mind, but of course, it shouldn’t stop here. Giving back to the world, helping others with their own struggles in life and seeing the smile you could potentially put on somebody else’s face is an indescribable feeling, and is likely to create a more lasting positive impact on your relationship with yourself. The act of generosity itself is one of the many countless blessings we have available to us, and because of this, you won’t get enough of practicing it. You don’t have to be ridiculously wealthy to give to others, of course, and a small but heart-felt kind act can go a long way. Being aware and sensitive of the needs of others will benefit your mental health in ways you could not imagine, while being selfless will help to increase your self-esteem and sense of fulfilment, and will also make you feel like a superhero – and who doesn’t want to feel like a superhero?

5. Stop beating yourself up, and don’t compare yourself to others


It’s quite plain and simple: just don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s important to be able to point out your own flaws so that you may begin to work on improving or getting rid of them altogether, but don’t make this an obsessive habit. Think of it this way: you’re a human being, and human beings make mistakes. You’re not perfect, and there’s nothing wrong with falling and getting back up again, or failing countless times before succeeding – it’s actually healthy, and you’ll appreciate success that much more when it finally comes.   

Additionally, it’s vital to remember that everyone is different, and not to compare yourself to others, as everyone’s journey is different – and don’t forget that every single one of us has struggles, and as much as you may think you’re alone, you most certainly are not! Yes, university life is undoubtedly stressful, but you’d be surprised at how easy it can be to overcome this – we’ve run through some fun and unusual ways to beat stress here.

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