Imposter Syndrome and Overcoming Obstacles

Author: Aleksandra

One of the surveys in 2018 showed that 62% of adults in the UK experience imposter syndrome. Occasionally feeling like you have somehow “cheated” your way into a good university /job or have “tricked” your surroundings into thinking you are smart is surprisingly common.

I just had my first week of postgraduate degree. The expectations and standards are very different from those on a bachelor degree and several times during my classes I felt completely overwhelmed. It didn’t help that most of the students in my class are either a lot older than me with plenty of job experience or had studied these subjects before. I was really confused as to why I had even been chosen to do this course.

If I am being honest, finishing my undergraduate studies was a challenge for me. I got bored with my course way too early on in my degree, so I was not enjoying my classes as much as I could have. Moreover, my family was going through tough times and at a certain moment I had to take a year out and go back home. I have been struggling with health issues and despite the overwhelming support from university staff and friends I found it very hard to get back on track and finish my degree.

There were days when everything seemed to be falling out of my hands. It could a big issue like my brain blanking out during a presentation or not noticing a whole task on a midterm exam paper because the pages stuck together. Sometimes it could be just a few small inconveniences that added up and made the day “just not my day”. Waking up the next morning and continuing to work was tough but not tough enough for me to give up.

Hard work and persistence paid off the last minute. During the last few weeks of the semester I submitted my dissertation and took my last exams. I performed well and got into the programme that I wanted.

Whenever self-doubt is bothering you, remind yourself about your achievements, however big or small they were or however long ago it happened. Our achievements aren’t always in the end result; sometimes it is about how much one had to overcome to get there.


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