Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Life > Experiences

The Insider on Overcoming Imposter Syndrome from a Transfer Student

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 Texas chapter.

Nothing could have prepared me for the college experience at The University of Austin at Texas. But for the first three years of my college career, I attended a UT-affiliated university. And I found the differences between university life and the academic curriculum staggering. In my fourth week as a transfer student a professor of mine, who spoke from personal experience, said something that stuck with me: “The first month is always the hardest.” Yet, every month thereafter still felt like the first month. The melancholy of it all crept up on me—a looming shadow if you will—and so, came doubts of my intellectual capabilities, the struggle to “find my people,” and the homesickness that became almost unbearable. 

All this grief over being at the university of my childhood dreams could only be traced to one collective phenomenon called Imposter Syndrome. After several changes in declaring my major at my previous university and one last time before stepping foot on the UT campus. I deemed myself a Rhetoric and Writing student hoping to achieve a career in journalism. During my first semester while labeled a “Junior” I questioned if I even belonged at UT or if I was as competent as my peers. In class discussions, I refrained from speaking a majority of the time even if I had a simple thought or question. I simply didn’t feel “smart enough” amongst the people around me. These feelings seeped into my social life—where I hardly had one. I feared that people wouldn’t want to be my friend. But did have friends albeit from my high school whom I saw on the occasion, but I was alone most days. In an attempt to battle this notion, I attended countless tabling events, multiple information sessions, and applied to several organizations on campus. Then the email rejections of my applications? Harsh, but then again this was just a vulnerable time for me. Amidst the rejection letters, I found Her Campus. An online magazine that welcomed me with open arms. Things began to look up somewhat after this. 

I entered this short period of peace where my anxieties and doubts were slowly fading away. I say short for a reason. When the semester came to a close everything came back—the constant questioning and thoughts that lingered in the back of my mind that I was less than and severely lagging behind. Even though this semester I still have these “imposter” feelings I had become aware of it. I gained a self-realization that I needed to let myself breathe. I needed to stop comparing myself to those around me. 

I am smart.

I am creative.

I am worthy. 

It’s all baby steps but I know who I am.

Madisyn Treviño (she/her) is a Rhetoric and Writing major and is serving her first year at Her Campus at Texas. She is passionate about writing, women's rights, Taylor Swift, rom-coms, discussing intersectionality, and 90s fashion. You can find more of her work on the student-run radio station, KVRX, website. IG: @0hmadi