'Fake It 'Til You Make It' Is My College Philosophy: Here's Why

College is a strange time. You’re encouraged to be curious and to embrace a vista of infinite learning, and yet, there seems to be an unspoken expectation to always be more. Usually, it’s more experienced, more knowledgeable, and more surefooted. It’s as if life is constantly whispering: be more than you are right now. So, how do we keep up? Perhaps a greater concern is how to summon the energy to push ourselves to these ever-higher goals. Well, I do not have unequivocal answers, but I do know something that can help. Introducing, the ‘'fake it 'til you make it' philosophy.

We’ve all heard it before: if you are not confident about something (anything), pretend you are, and then boom! in no time you become confident. Simple enough, though my hot take is this:

Maybe, you already were, and are, confident.

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This is a matter of perspective. Stay with me on this one. You decide that you are confident and do the things you would do if you were confident. Thus, if you ARE confident and DO confident, you are indistinguishable from BEING confident. Think about it. You need confidence to Jedi-mind trick yourself in this way, and if you are successful, you’ve proven that you already had what it takes. 

In my own life, faking it means making a conscious choice to do the things I want to do, but doubt myself on. This can apply to work, school, relationships, and even personal projects, activities, and goals. It’s a leap of faith, trusting myself to do the best I can in the situation I am in. Importantly, these are situations I want to be, either for enjoyment or growth. Here is what ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ can do for you: 

1. Become qualified for every position

Disclaimer: you won't have a lofty resume or become a CEO overnight without doing the legwork. Instead, what you can have is personability, effort, enthusiasm, flexibility, and confidence. From my experience, the single most important qualification is drive. If the job is something you want to pursue, you need to convince yourself that the learning curve is nothing. That being said, you have to work for it. If you're not willing to work twice as hard as everyone else than 'fake it 'til you make it' is not for you.

Hot tip: When asked why you should be hired, apply with a statement that says, ‘because I’ll do a good job.’ If you know this is true and have the drive to learn on-the-job, it’ll help make up for the experience you lack.

Related: How to Build a Resume From Scratch

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2. Feel encouraged academically

There will always be classes and professors you don’t vibe with, but, in a larger view, you’re at college to thrive. You’re here to get that degree and find your niche in the world. You know what you want and exactly what it takes to make it there. Don’t take the short view of CHEM lab in this case. The classes in which you currently struggle are still classes you have met the prerequisites to be in. They are at your level. So, if math is hell in your opinion, fake it. Show up and put in the work anyway. Take notes like you love math and you are 100 percent not falling asleep. Be the Little Engine that Could. You’ll find that when you view the self-doubt and shortcomings as stepping stones, it is much easier to be confident when addressing them. You already have all the tools you need to ace it. 

Hot tip: Be the Elle Woods of every class. 

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Related: 5 Ways to Prepare for a Test

3. Accept the unknowns in relationships

Oh, boy. Can I get a hand up from anyone who overthinks in their relationships? I see you. I’ve been there. When you’re confident, most of those anxieties that play on loop melt away. The confusion is more joyful than stressful. Remember, the you in this relationship is supposed to be the best version of yourself. The one that deserves to be loved and cared for. So be her. Find out where she’s at. If you are confident about who you are, you won’t need to worry about everyone else. They’ll sort themselves out around you. Even better, questions won’t be a void you anxiously feel the need to fill. 

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Related: Self Love Coming into the College Environment 

4. Try everything you thought you never could

I, like many others, am inexperienced in many things, some of which I would like to try. In my first few months of college, I stepped out of my comfort zone of never having been on a sports team into a college athlete that now practices eight times a week. It takes an unwavering self-confidence to calm overwhelming doubts of ‘I do not belong here.’ Also required is faking it until you finally know what you’re doing. I walked around practices for weeks in a blur of confusion, and one year later there are still things I don’t know. What is important here is that I had the confidence to keep my head up in a situation I had no logical reason to be confident in. I allowed myself the right to belong. You can do it too. Seriously, lace up your two left shoes and take salsa lessons.

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Fake it until you make it. Self-love yourself to success, say yes to opportunities that once scared you. If college is a time for anything, it’s honing in on your confidence and choosing to leave your comfort zone in order to grow. You can already do it, you just need to believe that you can.