I’ve recently started my second year of university. And after what felt like the longest summer of my life, I’m now firmly back into the swing of things. Deadlines are on the horizon. And work that needs to be done now has found itself in a pretty pile labelled: “things to be done later”.
University is back, and alongside it that familiar feeling of self-doubt. Because despite being accepted onto the course in the first place, making it this far and comfortably passing last year, I still don’t feel like I’m good enough.
Imposter syndrome. That feeling of unworthiness. The little voice whispering “you don’t deserve the position you’re in”. It’s the belief that you got to where you are on accident or by mistake. Imposter syndrome will have you certain that you’re some sort of master con-artist ahead of recognising the real work and effort you put in.
I feel like each day I spend on my course, I’m waiting to be found out. I’m waiting for someone to turn around and affirm what I’ve always thought from the start: I’m not good enough to be here.
I think for me it stems from the fact that I’ve come from more “academic” subjects to a university degree which is inherently creative. Even before applying, I was convinced I wouldn’t be creative enough. And now being here, its definitely taking time to adjust to a new way of doing work.
To put it simply, I’m outside of my comfort zone. It’s an uncomfortable and unfamiliar territory. A space in which the rules of play are different from what I’ve always known. And though I’m happy and really want to be here, sometimes it does feel like this isn’t the place for me.
What I’m realising is that these feelings aren’t unique to only myself. Most people at one point or another, have felt inadequate in a position they were more than qualified for. And just because something doesn’t fully click straight off the bat, doesn’t mean you won’t eventually get the hang of it. More often than not, its a question of time and giving your brain positive evidence that you can in fact do this.
I’m also trying my best to acknowledge the small wins and breakthroughs. So often we place the importance on the end goal, when really it’s the little steps we take along the way which help us realise our ability. It’s far more likely that you are good enough but not validating yourself, than the likelihood of you managing to fool everyone who chose to believe in you.
I imagine that imposter syndrome is something I’ll continue to dip in and out of as life goes on. There will be moments when I feel more confident and capable as well as days when the self-doubt sinks in. But what’s important in all of this is to focus on myself and trust that some things just take time and that’s alright.
Written by Ivy Samuel