Feel the fear and do it anyway

eliot clements

By Elliot Clements a Mathematics BSc (Hons) NTU Alumni

I’m a competitive swimmer currently training for my next SwimRun event and I work as a Lead Consultant at a technology company. I joined NTU in 2011 studying Mathematics at the Clifton Campus. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Trent and am grateful for the skills and knowledge it equipped me with.

University can be a fantastic experience but also a daunting one at times. We all have fears and anxieties, whether that might be moving away from home, making new friends, coping with exam stress or giving presentations. Fear is a natural response to moving outside of one’s comfort zone.

Here are some tips to help you conquer your fears and enrich your time at NTU:

  1. Feel the fear and do it anyway “You are confined by the walls you build yourself.”
    All of us are fearful of something. It could be asking a question in a lecture or volunteering for a lead role within a group project. If you wish you could do something but are constrained by an internal fear, put it aside and just do it!
    Although unpleasant, the feeling of accomplishment once you’ve broken down a barrier is euphoric.
    I used to be fearful of public speaking. It was only by continuously putting myself outside my comfort zone and delivering presentations that I was able to eradicate this fear. Now I lead workshops and give presentations to clients in my everyday work life without giving it a second thought. Pushing through a fear is the least frightening option. Do you continue to live your life in fear and helplessness or push through it one time? Your future self will thank you.
  2. Get involved – join a society (or several)
    “I’m loyal, babe.”
    NTU has a vast variety of society’s and sports clubs to get involved in, there really is something for everyone. I was part of the Swimming, Mountain Biking and Rowing Societies at various stages throughout my time there.
    Societies are a great way to try new activities, socialise with likeminded people and gain a sense of purpose by representing the university as a team. They’re also a great confidence builder and stress buster, taking your mind off uni work whilst doing something positive and healthy.
  3. Take advantage of opportunities
    “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
    Take advantage of the additional services available at NTU.
    The university hosts a guest lecture series which is a great opportunity to hear about something new, not necessarily related to your course, and take control of your education and development.
    There are also employability workshops which contain great tips on how to approach job fairs and interviews. These sessions undoubtedly helped me secure a position on a graduate programme post university.
  4. Read
    The following book suggestions have been instrumental in changing my perception on life, conquering fears, bettering myself and having the confidence to achieve anything:
    • Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers
    • Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger
    • Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins

For help and advice whilst studying at NTU, take a look at the following for sources of support.
Personal Pastoral Support at NTU (general worries and anxiety, homesickness, loneliness, a relationship breakup, or a bereavement)
Support from NTU
Silvercloud: SilverCloud is our online system designed to help with a range of mental health issues.
Depression advice
Wellness in Mind: Advice and support for anyone in Nottingham experiencing issues with their mental wellbeing
Struggling at Uni? Go to Student Minds
10 Keys to happiness

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