Self-doubt and Impostor Syndrome

Hey! It’s me, the one who has a face mask right now and is still in school clothes, the one who has decided a blog post should be written. Here I am typing to you across the webverse on my little corner of the Internet.

I have been struggling with school lately, and it’s some time management, but mainly the idea that the work that I’ve put in is never enough.

If I look back on all that it took to get me here, it was my hard work, the foundation that education was important instilled in me by my parents, and the immeasurable work of teachers and administrators that has led me to this wonderful university. However, coming from a small school to joining a large one has made me realize, comparison and competition are vicious.

The UVA culture is one that prides itself on high grades and the often harmful ways we get those grades. Lack of sleep, failure to consume nutritious food, the enormous amount of coffee – it’s no wonder we find ourselves losing our focus throughout the day.

I think, for me, what is has been the hardest is developing myself as a student here and learning new study techniques and ways to learn and going to office hours and staying up late – yet I find myself with grades lower than I desire. And I don’t mean I got a 95 when I wanted a 99. I mean that I’m struggling to pass certain classes.

In the situation I’m in, it’s easy to let self-doubt creep in. It’s easy to want to give up on everything and just go to bed. And sometimes that’s the solution.

But other times, if I analyze the problem, it’s often that I’m letting the success of others dictate my place and whether or not I’m on the right path. This is where the doubt comes in. You start to question whether or not you really belong here – if everyone around is better than you, having a better time than you, or both. It often leads to this impostor syndrome – feeling like it was a mistake to be where you are and you are desperately afraid for someone to find out.

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This is a lie.

Don’t believe it!

This doubt forged by looking around and comparing myself to others has done me no good. It’s like comparing apples and oranges.

If I spend my time looking to others to define the path for me, I will miss mine. More importantly, I will miss the chance to be made into the person of someone who my path is meant for.

That said, the deeper rooted issue is that we let our grades dictate our worth. Don’t get me wrong – work hard – but know, that you were made for more than work. You are a living human being, but sometimes we act like human doings.

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Take your grades off the throne of your worth. Assess who you are and whose you are. You have been placed where you are for a purpose. And part of that can be being a diligent student. But you have let go of comparison. You have to give yourself room to be more than student – be a good friend, be a good daughter, be a good light-up-the-room person.

Give yourself a chance and some time to be the best you can be. Remind yourself of where you have been and how you got here. You will never be perfect 100% of the time, but if you’ve worked hard to get to where you are, you belong there.

 

Signing off,

Gigi

In what areas of life do you feel like an impostor? How do you deal with your self-doubt?

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