At times, we all doubt ourselves and our own abilities. As college students, we may often feel that we don’t belong here or that we won’t be able to compare to the other intelligent students around us. Here, Peer Educator, Erich shares his story about finding his confidence in an overwhelming and intimidating environment.

Finding Confidence

by Erich Crawford

I have spent time worrying if I am strong enough to maintain my education at a university that has so many people and part of a UC system that I never thought I would be apart of. I grew up with the mentality that education was not the proper path for me and that I was not cut out to make it at a university. Luckily, my desire to learn and grow provided me with the opportunities and guidance to take that chance to apply to the UC’s. I chose this school with high goals but often do not believe that I belong here and struggle with the idea that I am smart enough, dedicated enough, or have the skills to succeed here.

There is a study called the big fish study and it explained to me how often times when you are surrounded by a lot of big fish you feel smaller. A report showed how the top students at less rigorous schools than Harvard were equal in scores and research opportunity. Yet the students at ‘less rigorous’ schools had higher success rates and feelings of accomplishment. Analytically they did the same but those at Harvard were comparing themselves to the highest achievements and that left them feeling like they were small. This always reminds me that my studies and work that I put in are valid and important and it helps me recognize how much I have grown in the past few years. This recognition motivates me to keep pushing and that I do not need to compare my work and grades to anybody else because that is not a true measure of value. My values are created by my choice and not by how well someone else is doing. If I am able to develop and learn while making a peaceful impact on people lives then I know I am doing well. I do not need a test score to show me how valuable I am.

If you ever feel like your confidence or self esteem are too much to handle on your own, CAPS is here to help!