Story by Annika Grassl
According to a recent study that was in April by the Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment at Boston College, male students who were surveyed both entering and exiting college had lower self-confidence scores as seniors exiting college, than as entering freshmen. USA Today first reported these findings last week.
Junior biochemisty, cell and molecular biology major Kathryn Kriss said she believes this study has different results in the confidence levels of the women attending Boston College than students at Drake University due to the two institutions size differences.
Boston College has about 15,000 students, so Kriss believes that this may have something to do with the results of the study.
“There is not a lack of confidence in school for women, but a lack of confidence over their gender overall. Since the gender balance is unequal here at Drake,” Kriss said.
Kriss said that at larger schools, the learning environment is more competitive, and men are generally more likely to step up to the challenge than women who are more likely and be more passive in competitive situations.
“I didn’t have a rough first semester or year grade-wise, but I have definitely gained more confidence in my ability to write lessons and do well in class and on tests the more time I have spent in class, talking with professors and reading and rereading assignments outside of class,” said senior Meghan Price.
Price said her motivation has, in part, come from seeing her friends struggledfrom the beginning at larger schools.
“The more involved I got at Drake, the better I seemed to do in class,” Price said.
Price said she disagrees with the Boston College survey.
“I haven’t seen many women at Drake lose their confidence, but this institution is very competitive academically, and you must be confident and compete in order to make it here at Drake,” Price said.
Price gives that advice to students who feel discouraged.
“I think that no matter who you are, if you weren’t confident in your ability in school, you wouldn’t be at Drake,” Price said. “Even if you question it, just remind yourself that you are at Drake for a reason and you can make it.”
“I would probably say that I am more confident as to what I want to do with my life, which has helped somewhat with the confidence,” said Hannah Kuhne. “I am much more confident in my ability to take tests and my ability to study.”
Kuhne agreed with Price that the Boston College survey is misleading.
“I think women are generally gaining confidence in themselves throughout their college careers due to the strength and confidence that professors, Greek Life, feminism programs, self-defense programs, etc,” Kuhne said. “There are so many things on the college campus that encourage women to continue in their college careers, I would assume that the majority of women are more confident as opposed to not by the end of their college careers.”
Though Price, Kuhne and Kriss’ college experience contrast the Boston College study results, some women still feel their confidence is lacking.
Thanks to the increased stress and workload through out the semester, women lose confidence in their individual abilities to keep up with the high academic demands of Drake.
“Freshman year destroyed my confidence in my academic abilities, said Rebecca Share. “It wasn’t until I started a new major sophomore year that I felt capable again.”