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

At the number one public university in the world, it is easy to feel out of place. From academics to extracurriculars, everywhere you turn there is a plethora of people who seem to have it all together. Read that sentence again, but this time put an emphasis on the word seem. In reality, these people are not as perfect as they appear, and they might even experience Imposter Syndrome themselves. So ask yourself, if Imposter Syndrome is more common than we think, are we really imposters? Putting this logic to practice is easier said than done, so I am here to offer some tips (as someone who still experiences Imposter Syndrome from time to time) on how to overcome this feeling of estrangement.

1. Revisit the facts.

You are here at the University of Michigan for a reason, which is that the admission office was impressed by your achievements and saw the potential in you. Their decision was not a mistake or an accident. Therefore, every time you doubt yourself, it is helpful to repeat that you are meant to be here, because you are!

2. Take a social media cleanse.

People tend to only post the good aspects of their life on social media, which only fuels Imposter Syndrome. It is not a bad idea to either unfollow the people who make you feel bad about yourself, or delete the app entirely. You can set whatever limits are right for you, but regardless you’ll be surprised to see how much of a difference this makes. 

3. Talk to others.

You are only able to find out if others are experiencing Imposter Syndrome if you talk to them about it. Every single time I have had a conversation with a friend here, they have felt the same way as me. It is comforting to know this, and helps me come back and reenforce the answer to my original question. 

Emily in Paris. (L to R) Lily Collins as Emily, Ashley Park as Mindy in episode 209 of Emily in Paris
Photo by Stéphanie Branchu/Netflix

4. Reward yourself for your achievements. 

Your “failures,” like a bad test or essay grade, tend to overcloud your achievements. If you begin to reward yourself for your achievements (big or small), you will begin to see just how many there are. This constant positive reenforcement will help you see yourself in a better light, and realize all the things you’re accomplishing.

5. Tell your inner perfectionist to be quiet.

This one is difficult because perfectionism can be rooted in your personality. For example, I have found that whatever task I do, especially in school, I want it done perfectly. However, in no way is this realistic. You may have been a straight A student in high school, but college is different. You are not going to receive an A on every single assignment because that is nearly impossible. Giving yourself a little bit of grace will do you a world of good.

Imposter Syndrome is no joke. It can lead to terrible fits of anxiety and feeling like you don’t belong. Ultimately, the best way to overcome this mental battle is to have enough confidence in yourself to dismiss these thought the second they creep into your head, but as this is no easy task, I hope my tips help along the way.

Sincerely, a college freshman who has to reminder herself of these tips constantly.

Grace Layman

U Mich '25

Grace is a sophomore at the University of Michigan studying Psychology in LSA. She enjoys dancing, thrifting, reading, and hanging out with her cats.