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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SBU chapter.

As I began my sophomore year, I hoped a lot of things would stay the same; friends, great experiences, and supportive professors. There are also some things that I hoped would change; the bad dining hall food (it did not), and the feeling of complete failure. Not only did these feelings not go away, but they also elevated far beyond my belief. I walk around campus and wave at those I met last year, talk with friends, or go to school events. But I often think to myself: I don’t deserve to be here.

These same thoughts ran through my head last year mostly in slight whispers, but they now seem to be continuously screaming at me. You don’t fit in here. You’re not smart. You will never be successful. It seems that the farther I get in my college experience, the more I worry that I will not be successful when I enter the “real world.” 

I recently found out that this mentality stems from the concept of imposter syndrome. This is when someone doubts his/her skills and talents, feeling like she’s “faking” an important aspect of her life. There is a wide variety of different types of the imposter syndrome. Some derive from perfectionism, individualism, and having to work for something rather than having a natural talent. Those with imposter syndrome feel like they are never doing enough to accomplish their goals and cannot accurately distinguish their abilities. Even after accomplishing their goals, someone with imposter syndrome feels like they do not truly deserve praise or approval.  

This is something I deal with often, and I have found a couple of tips to overcome the feeling. One that has the greatest effect on my self-esteem is looking back on all my accomplishments, and telling myself that I worked hard for them. I often find myself making negative excuses for the things I have attained. I often think the only reason I was successful was that I worked hard in order to convince people I am not a fraud, which somehow makes me feel even more like a fraud. This starts a vicious cycle of feeling like I haven’t truly earned what I have. 

I have also found it helpful to make a list of goals or things I hope to achieve. The most essential is writing down ALL the goals, both big and small. Writing down small goals that you are confident that you will accomplish makes it easier to endure if you happen to not achieve some of your bigger goals. 

If you are undergoing a similar disposition, know that there are others having similar experiences and there are always people who will be there for you. I recommend trying the tips listed above, communicating with friends and family, or talking to counseling services available at your university.

Delaney Chase is the co-campus correspondent for the St. Bonaventure University Her Campus chapter. She works with the other campus correspondent and various board members to communicate with the rest of the Her Campus community as well as edit articles and lead weekly meetings. Delaney is a junior and is currently studying journalism and political science. She also is a writer for TAP into Greater Olean, an online news platform in the St. Bonaventure area, as well as a captain of the St. Bonaventure Women's Club Basketball team and Vice President of SBU for Equality. She enjoys hearing and sharing experiences with those of similar interests and enjoys being involved in different activities across the SBU campus. She finds this a great way to gain connections with those at her university and in nearby areas. She is enjoys the ability to gain experience and further her knowledge of the communications field. Outside of her time in school, Delaney loves listening to Taylor Swift and will take absolutely any opportunity to bring her up in conversation. She can often be found at the campus Starbucks with her friends ordering a pumpkin spice latte or brown sugar oat milk shaken espresso. She enjoys reading classic novels but also loves watching the trashiest reality TV shows.