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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Towson chapter.

By Allyyah Aali

As I find myself admist my second year of college, I am compelled to reflect upon the aspirations of my earlier self. She embodied boldness, fearlessness and a profound sense of ambition. I owe her a debt of gratitude for the diligent nights spent strategizing our trajectory toward achievement, and for the instances when she unabashedly voiced her dreams while disregarding the encroaching demands of responsibility.

However, there arrived a pivotal moment when I opted to diminish my significance. I confined those lofty aspirations to the recesses of a metaphorical closet, suffocating them under the oppressive weight of imposter syndrome. I extend my sincerest apologies to her for succumbing to that decision, for witnessing her gradual decline into obscurity while I resigned myself to mediocrity.

Presently, as a second-year student, I am consumed by a fervent desire to reclaim those forsaken dreams. My longing to ascend to great heights is palpable, yet imposter syndrome remains a formidable impediment. It shackles me to an incessant fear of inadequacy, perpetuating the dread of being unmasked as an imposter within the confines of my reality.

My most profound regret stems from the act of diminishing myself when I possessed the potential for grandeur. At the tender age of 20, I find myself traversing life’s path in reverse, contending with the pervasive sensation of embodying an imposter in my skin. Nevertheless, despite the adversity, I steadfastly refuse to relinquish those erstwhile dreams. They are an indelible component of my being, and I am resolute in my determination to reclaim them, irrespective of the obstacles that lie in wait.

In the journey of pursuing creativity, many individuals face a common challenge known as imposter syndrome. This phenomenon involves feeling like a fraud or doubting one’s abilities despite evidence of success. As I reflect on my journey in college, I recall the dreams I once had and the struggle with imposter syndrome that held me back. However, amidst the uncertainty, there is an opportunity to overcome this obstacle and embrace creativity fully.

Understanding Imposter Syndrome:
Imposter syndrome is a psychological experience where individuals doubt their skills and fear being exposed as frauds. For aspiring creatives like myself, this feeling can be especially daunting, given the subjective nature of creative fields. It often manifests as a persistent voice of self-doubt, questioning one’s worth and legitimacy.

Challenges Faced by Creative Individuals:
Creatives encounter various challenges, both internal and external, on their journey. The  pressure to meet certain standards of success, coupled with the fear of failure and rejection, can be overwhelming. As I strive to pursue creativity, I find myself grappling with feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. Constant comparisons to others and the pursuit of perfection only add to the burden of imposter syndrome.

Strategies for Overcoming Imposter Syndrome:
To overcome imposter syndrome, individuals can employ several strategies rooted in self-awareness and resilience. Acknowledging one’s talents and aspirations is the first step towards dismantling self-doubt. Embracing authenticity and recognizing the value of the journey, with all its ups and downs, can provide a sense of empowerment.

Seeking support from mentors, peers, and mental health professionals can offer valuable guidance and perspective. Surrounding oneself with a supportive community of like-minded individuals can provide a sense of belonging and validation. Additionally, reframing failures as opportunities for growth can shift the narrative from one of inadequacy to one of resilience and perseverance.

As I continue my creative journey, I recognize that imposter syndrome is a common challenge that can be overcome. By embracing authenticity, cultivating resilience, and seeking support, I can navigate self-doubt and reclaim my creative aspirations. In doing so, I honor the dreams of my younger self and pave the way for a future filled with creativity and self-discovery.

Langston Hughes once eloquently asked,“What happens to a dream deferred?” This quote reminds us of the importance of pursuing our dreams despite the challenges we may face, including imposter syndrome. It underscores the significance of perseverance and resilience in the face of adversity.


Fervent: passionate 

Palpable: achievable 

Impediment: obstacle

Grandeur: high rank 

Traversing: traveling 

Erstwhile: former

Allyyah Aali

Towson '26

I'm Allyyah Aali, currently a sophomore at Towson University, and my interests lie at the intersection of fashion, society, history, and even some daring exposés. I've always been fascinated by how fashion and society are intertwined, influencing and reflecting each other in profound ways. To me, fashion is more than just clothing; it's a form of self-expression and a mirror reflecting our cultural values and norms. One of my greatest passions is delving into the annals of fashion history. There's something truly captivating about unraveling the stories behind iconic garments and designers. I believe that understanding our fashion heritage is essential to predicting and shaping future trends. In addition to my academic pursuits, I'm also drawn to exploring the provocative and controversial aspects of fashion, particularly through exposés on the sensual side of the industry. The interplay between sensuality, identity, and fashion is a subject that continually intrigues me, and I'm dedicated to providing thoughtful commentary on it. Looking ahead, my dreams revolve around a career in fashion journalism and advertising. I envision myself crafting engaging articles for top-tier fashion magazines, shedding light on the nuances of the industry and dissecting its social implications. Simultaneously, I hope to be part of the creative process, perhaps even designing clothing that challenges conventions and inspires change. With my passion for understanding the complex relationship between fashion, society, history, and sensuality, I'm excited to make a lasting impact in the fashion world. I aim to use my unique perspective to spark conversations and drive positive change in this ever-evolving industry.