College is supposed to be a time of exploring and learning. It’s where you’re meant to discover your passions and improve your skills in any field of your choice. But, some majors require overcoming obstacles that can’t be taught in the classroom. On top of that, sometimes a pandemic happens halfway through your college career and creates a whole other storm of problems that no one saw coming. One of the biggest challenges that I’ve faced during this past year has been dealing with my imposter syndrome within both of my majors getting worse because of COVID-19.
For those who are unaware, imposter syndrome is when a person feels inadequate in their line of work, despite continuous success. It can leave an individual feeling like a fraud or that their work doesn’t match up to those of the people around them. COVID-19 has completely changed the way that students all across the world are receiving their education, and having the majority of my classes being moved to completely online has only magnified my feelings of this kind.
With Broadway shut down until at least the beginning of next year and the production and releases of film still being on somewhat of a hiatus, it’s difficult to imagine being able to thrive in industries that seemingly don’t exist currently. I’m lucky that Hofstra is allowing the drama department to have a season that we’re putting on as safely as possible while attempting to give everyone the opportunities they came to college for. The film and theatre industries are some of the most competitive out there, and that sentiment is true at every level. When you add on the necessary restrictions that are in place right now, it seems sort of impossible to get the most out of anything.
One of the biggest contributing factors that has resulted in these emotions for me personally is that I had little to no experience within either of my fields of study before coming to college. With numerous required production classes, it feels almost impossible to not compare your work to that of those around you. From day one I’ve had to deal with feeling like I am lightyears behind my classmates. One thing that’s so important to remember is that everyone started from nothing. Whether you’ve been making films all your life or you’re beginning today, at some point everyone feels the same way.
Last semester, I had to make a stop motion LEGO film for my final project for a class completely alone in my house. As a comparison, those who took the class in the fall of last year were able to have multiple filming locations and a full crew for their projects. While there is no one to blame for the unfair circumstances myself and others were placed in, the experience left me feeling unfulfilled. On top of everything else COVID-19 has taken away from me, I feel like I lost my chance to prove to myself and to everyone around me that I have what it takes to run a set and create an amazing film. However, I have to constantly remind myself that, while it might not be in the way I had originally envisioned, there are still opportunities to do this while I’m in college. On top of that, it’s important to remember that what you do in college isn’t the limit of your potential. In fact, it’s just the beginning.
These feelings aren’t specific to these majors or the current state of the world. One of the things that I’m notoriously bad at remembering is that I’m not alone in any of this. Life as all of us have known it has forever been changed because of what we’ve gone through this year. COVID-19 has taken so much and it has changed everything about how everyone is living their day to day lives. While there is no sure “cure” for dealing with imposter syndrome, always keep in mind that you tend to be your own worst enemy. Believing in your own ability to do anything you set your mind to is half the battle of getting anything done.