Confidence Is Not Always Consistent, And That’s Ok

Sarah poses in Business Hall.

This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Wellness Center. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @RowanUWellness on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Being confident is hard, especially as a college student. Transitioning into a competitive environment, navigating through your career goals and personal goals, as well as uncertainty about the future can have a significant impact on an individual’s self-esteem.

College is a unique experience and with it comes a variety of obstacles and adventures. While being a college student can be a very rewarding journey, it can also come with a wide range of challenges that can result in a fluctuating self-esteem, and that’s ok.

Sarah poses on a bench by trees near Rowan Hall.

Self-esteem is rarely at a constant level, it fluctuates and develops throughout our lives. According to an article published by Mayo Clinic, “Self-esteem begins to develop and form in early childhood … depending on your circumstances it can begin to fluctuate throughout time” (Mayo Clinic, 2020).

Factors such as life experiences, friendships, home life, school life, relationships, how we perceive ourselves and more influence our self-esteem. A majority of these factors are probably significantly different now compared to how they were in childhood. Throughout that time period, a variety of changes and overall growth occurs. The changes physically, emotionally, mentally and socially significantly and greatly impact self-esteem as growth and maturity develops and takes place.

As young adults and adults, that growth has not stopped. During an academic career in college and higher education in general, a lot of changes will occur, both good and bad ones, throughout an individual’s time as a college student. It is ok to experience fluctuation in confidence and self-esteem.

Sarah poses in front of Engineering Pond.

Self-esteem is important and it is something that can affect individual’s greatly, especially if they are experiencing low self-esteem. It is ok to experience both healthy and low self-esteem. Most, if not all, college students go through times where confidence is high as well as times where confidence feels nonexistent. It is important, however, to reach out to trusted resources on and off campus if self-esteem and confidence is starting to affect daily life.

Sarah poses in front of a tree outside Rowan Hall.

From freshman to senior year of college, there is a significant difference in who individuals are when they first start college and who they are when they graduate college. That change from the first day of college to the last day just shows how individuals change and grow during their college experience. Fluctuations in self-esteem, both the highs and lows, is a part of that growth individual’s experience throughout their time in college. In the end, the high’s and low’s in confidence are valid and ok to experience throughout college and throughout life as well.


Mayo Clinic, Staff. (2020, July 14). Does your self-esteem need a boost? Mayo Clinic.

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Story by:
Sarah Mackenzie, junior biological sciences major from Gloucester County, NJ, Wellness Center intern

Photos by:
Joe Gentempo, art graduate

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