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Imposter Syndrome in the College Environment – The Inquirer

Imposter Syndrome in the College Environment – The Inquirer

Dear Editor-in Chief,

Every year, students have many expectations. They want to be able to get good grades and get hired by a reputable company or just keep pushing forward. The college environment is extremely competitive and makes it feel like everything is on their shoulders. This is imposter syndrome.

Imposter syndrome in an educational environment is primarily due to students comparing themselves with their peers. Students can feel unworthy of success in a highly competitive environment.

Anybody can experience imposter Syndrome, whether they’re a student, teacher, or otherwise. Jacqueline Liu, University of Southern California professor, said that she experienced imposter Syndrome when she was hired to her first job. For the Spring 2021 USC News feature, Feel Like You Don’t Belong?, Jacqueline Liu shared her testimony. Liu acknowledges that she can still feel overwhelmed by the successes of her peers when scrolling LinkedIn.

People who struggle with imposter Syndrome are more likely to have a negative mental outlook. They tend to put themselves down and label themselves as incompetent.

The first step in helping those with the syndrome is to acknowledge it and to encourage self-restraint. Schools should encourage students and their families to join non-academic and fun clubs. This will allow them to find new hobbies and passions. It is important to establish partnerships between schools and internships that are related to the club’s subject. This way, if a student is interested in the club’s mission, they will have access to resources that will help them to pursue it as a career.

I propose that school boards inform their students about the ways to combat imposter Syndrome and that school clubs actively reach to internships to ensure that each club has one or three connections. This will allow students to have fun while reducing the feeling of being left behind.

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Nicole Nguyen

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