In classes this past year, I constantly doubted myself and felt that I didn't belong. There are so many bright people in my classes, I don't stand a chance next to them. I'm worried that in-person classes will make this impostor syndrome even worse because I'll have to face all of these people in my classes who are smarter than me.
Any advice on how to deal with that feeling?
This feeling? It sucks. But in the spirit of Ask Iman, I need to remind you that everyone experiences the same thing – we’re all trying to get by, together.
Let me set the scene for you. You’re officially a UBC student and you’re sitting in your first class ever. The professor starts lecturing and it seems like everyone in this class already knows everything, and you? Well, you feel like you know nothing.
If that sounds familiar, I’m here to help you see that you belong here — if it doesn’t, well, I blame that on never having attended an in-person class before.
Impostor syndrome is real and feeling like an impostor (cue the Among Us jokes… am I too late?) is difficult, but it is a harsh, sucky reality that many of us will face.
I like to remember three things when I’m facing my own impostor syndrome: I belong here, I can ask for help and everyone is in the same boat.
I belong here
I always like to remember that I was admitted to UBC for a reason — and so was everyone else. Though it can be a hard thing to grasp, you deserve your spot in that classroom. Sure, other students may seem like they're better than you, but you’re all UBC students.
Feeling like you don’t belong is really difficult, and trust me: I’ve had my fair share of experiences where I’ve felt like an impostor, but at the end of the day, reminding myself that I’m here for a reason has always left me with a little bit of hope.
I can ask for help
That’s it. You can ask for help and there is no shame in doing so.
Throughout high school and the first little bit of university, I was scared to ask for help, but it’s important to do so. Whether it’s asking a professor how to write a better thesis or asking a friend how they balance their time so well, the perspectives of others can 1) be interesting and 2) be helpful.
Everyone needs a little help every now and then, so take advantage of your resources and ask.
It’s not embarrassing to struggle. It’s not embarrassing to need help. It’s normal.
Everyone is in the same boat
There, I said it! EVERYONE’S IN THE SAME BOAT!
I can almost guarantee that if you have a question in class, at least one other person has that question too. You’re not the only person facing impostor syndrome and there is — at least for me — a little comfort in knowing that I’m not the only one.
TLDR: You may feel like you don’t, but you belong here. You can ask for help. Most of all, you’re not the only ‘impostor.’ I mean, Among Us is a multiplayer game, after all!
You’re doing great. Keep it up!
Need advice? Send your questions, queries or problems to firstname.lastname@example.org, or submit anonymously at ubyssey.ca/advice!