Impostor Syndrome



How was your summer? Good? Mine flew by, and every week or so I thought to myself “hmm, I really ought to sit down and right about how things are going!”, and yet here I am: it’s September 9th and my last entry was in May. Maybe I should make it my goal to just write once per season, since that seems to be the most frequent I can manage.

It’s the end of the first week of classes for the fall semester here at WIT, and so far I feel like I’ve more-or-less got the academic beast under control. I figured the way to beat my impostor syndrome was to be very, very prepared at all times in all my classes and dive headfirst into reading and getting work done early. To that end, I made a point on the first day of classes to sit down after my lecture and read through the first section of the textbook, and get a head start on the homework. The result was that in the second lecture I was already familiar with the material and could answer questions. Great right!?

Right. Here’s where my ridiculous f***ing impostor syndrome kicks in. Despite answering a number of questions correctly in the lecture, instead of feeling happy and proud of myself for actually volunteering an answer, that grimy little voice in the back of my head whispered “it doesn’t count, you read ahead in the textbook. you don’t actually know anything and you aren’t smart.”

Objectively I can sit back, think through that logic and realize it makes zero sense because the whole point of classes and textbooks is that yes, you DO read before lecture to learn the material so that IN the lecture you can fill in the gaps and get hands-on examples from your professor. How else would you gain the knowledge!? It doesn’t just spring magically into your brain!

This is so frustrating. I’ve been attending undergrad at one institution or another for nearly a decade, and even when I find myself doing well in a course I still can’t believe that I actually have a decent level of intelligence. I so badly want to be able to enjoy my little victories, but it’s still so hard.

F***cking impostor syndrome >:[