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  • Emily Halter

Advice Column

Updated: Mar 17, 2023

Dear Collegian, I am a junior at the University of Toledo. I recently have become very involved on campus. I’m meeting many new people of all different majors and interests and… I’ve never been more insecure in my life. In all aspects of the word, I am insecure. I feel so idiotic and airheaded near these people. I feel myself seeing them less as my peers and more as my competition. The infuriating part about that is when compared to them, I lose every single time. I have this overwhelming urge to look and be better than them, but I'm not. How do I deal with this?


It is wonderful that you’ve become integrated within the UToledo campus, as it is a fantastic way to meet people and help develop various skill sets. Yet, there are challenges that come with these new realms of college life, as well.

Insecurity is a reasonable emotion when you’re exploring new organizations, especially when there are so many bright and confident students here on campus. However, it is crucial to understand that although someone else demonstrates a certain trait, this does not diminish what you have to offer.

You have already taken the initiative to join these organizations, so congratulate yourself first and foremost. You’ve demonstrated assertiveness and drive. Take a moment to acknowledge all the positive traits you possess. You have just as many qualities to offer here on campus as the student next to youtraits that make you unique and a valuable asset to this university.

When we pick apart the word insecure, we can conclude that it is something felt in regard to yourself, rather than how others perceive you. It is a fault in the way you view who you are. In short, you are not giving yourself enough compassion and kindness, and are instead focusing on how you are in comparison to others.

The students around you are not your competition. I like to think of each student as being on a joint team, rather than opponents. We all want to help you grow and support you along the way at UToledo. There is no reason that both you and your classmates cannot all succeed! So root for each other and lend a helping hand along the way.

Rejoice in all that you are, as I assure you that you have the capacity to achieve all your goals! Keep in mind how critical it is to practice self-compassion, and remember that we are all trying to do our bestand someone else’s victory should be a victory in your mind, too. You are just as special, loved, and needed as those you’re comparing yourself to.



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