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Avoiding Imposter Syndrome as a College Student

Being a college student can be a confusing time in your life. While it is exciting to finally begin your career path and explore topics you love, it can also be intimidating and cause thoughts of self-doubt. Constantly having these feelings of self-doubt is commonly known as “imposter syndrome”. Someone experiencing imposter syndrome may feel like they don’t belong or deserve the position they are in or the gratitude that they receive for their work. They feel like their accomplishments were somehow faked and that they will not meet the expectations of those around them.

You might think:

“I don’t deserve to be here.”

“I don’t contribute as much as I could.”

“My other accomplishments were just luck.”

These thoughts of self-doubt can be difficult to overcome, but it is helpful to know that you are not alone. So many people feel this way at some point in their lives, and that’s okay!

Here are some tips:

1. Comparison is the thief of joy.

Everyone goes through life at their own pace. Comparing yourself to others in any way is a never-ending habit. Try your best to focus on your own goals and milestones that are achievable for you.

2. Celebrate your accomplishments.

After setting your goals, celebrate them! The best part of having milestones is enjoying the feeling of reaching them. This will also make future goals seem more exciting and something to look forward to.

3. Talk to someone you look up to.

Find a professor, coworker, mentor, or anyone that you see as a role model. Having a one-on-one conversation about how they got where they are or looking for advice can create a more personable relationship. Often, it will help you realize that even the people you look up to have been in the same position as you.

Feeling confident in your work is a freeing and exciting feeling. Remember success is not linear, you will experience setbacks, but take your work day by day. Find joy in the process and use these tips to make your success a gratifying experience.

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