Dealing with Imposter Syndrome at University
At some point in your university experience, you will feel out of your depth. Like you don’t know enough. Like you are not clever enough. Like you don’t belong.
For me, it was my first day, my first lecture. As I walked into a huge lecture theatre, full of people will copious amounts of books and notes, I felt completely overwhelmed. As soon as the lecture started, the professor dove straight into political philosophy and principles of which I had never heard.
In the subsequent seminar, the people well-versed in the topic were debating the ideas whereas I could just sit there and listen with nothing to say. Even now, two years into my university experience, I am daunted by the idea that everyone else seems to know more than me and is more clever than I am.
What I have started to learn, however, is that feeling is a lie.
Of course, there will always be people who are more eloquent at expressing their ideas, are more well read and get higher grades. That doesn’t mean that you don’t belong in the same room as them. Most people at university are underprepared and just stumbling their way through - it’s a feeling you will never shake.
However, at some point, when all the dust clears, you will be able to look back at all the amazing skills and knowledge you have learnt along the way. Always remember that you do not need to know everything and be the best at anything to deserve your spot at university. You just need to make sure you make the most of learning and building from the intelligent people around you.
By Mary Jones
University of Leeds