Remember when a study this summer revealed that women’s lack of confidence might be holding them back in their careers? Well, a just-released study conducted at Boston College in April shows that the roots of that tainted self-image might start growing in the one place you’re focused on building your sense of self: college.
The study, conducted internally by Boston College’s own Office of Institutional Research, surveyed women as freshmen entering the college and then again once they graduated as seniors, assessing how they rated their own level of self-confidence. The results: most women felt better about themselves as freshmen than they did as exiting seniors.
So what does this say about how young women experience college? In light of recent news about sorority hazing practices, and ongoing reports about an increase in terrible things like violence against women and date rape, it’s actually not that surprising to hear that many women feel worse about themselves after four years in the American institution that is college.
We want to see a study that looks at how men perceive themselves before and after college; we’re willing to bet the results might be similar. Bottom line: college is challenging for a number of reasons that aren’t necessarily academic, and it can result in people losing some of the confidence they once had in themselves.