Post Academic

The Impostor, the Hamster and You

Posted in Surviving Grad School by postacademic on August 16, 2010
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Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox ExtensionA person at the Live Journal applying to grad site asked a good question: How does one deal with impostor syndrome?

Now, this person shouldn’t feel like an impostor. This person got into Stanford. The members of the Live Journal group were super-supportive, which is great to see, as the academy doesn’t always get props for having a supportive community.

Impostor Syndrome is a common problem for academics. But why all the low self-esteem? Academics are among the best and brightest. Here are some of the top sources of Impostor Syndrome, at least in my own experience:

The realization that you haven’t read everything. The reading lists for most grad programs can turn a confident person into a sufferer of Impostor Syndrome right quick. Everyone will seem smarter than you, and they will speak more languages than you do.

Hamster image from Wikimedia Commons, public domain.