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Throughout the spring quarter, I have been interning with the Women’s Federation for World Peace International. In the beginning, I was completely excited and ready to begin my research for my intern position. We would have weekly meetings where we all discussed our research and our overall progress. Many of my fellow interns were from schools that were ranked higher than mine, and so I began to feel as if I was unqualified for my internship even though I had the position. This led me to deal with imposter syndrome for some time, especially with thinking of applying for law school the following year has made me more unsure of myself. Here are some tips to deal with imposter syndrome:


Acknowledge the Thoughts

This is important because I know when one has self-doubt, we don’t necessarily know why. By acknowledging these negative thoughts, we begin to understand a little more about why we are having them. So, for example, I began to ask myself why I felt as if I wasn’t qualified even though I already had the position. If I wasn't qualified then I would not be holding the position I currently hold. This helped me to think things through more rationally and not necessarily overthink because my college had different qualifications than others.

Talk to Friends and Family

I know this sounds like the most basic advice, but a lot of the time we tend to not really talk to others about how we feel because we think they’ll look down upon us. I dealt with this for a couple of months by myself and then brought it up to my mom. She kind of helped me clear all the negative thoughts in my head since I was just overthinking and stressing myself out for no reason when all I had to do was plan out my days more according to my new schedule. Furthermore, she reassured me that these feelings were normal and that things were going to be okay. She even helped me better understand that I was qualified for whatever positions I had and that I was doing well in each of them.

Watch Videos

By watching videos on how others deal with imposter syndrome really helps me to understand that I’m not the only person who feels this way. Many others feel as if they aren’t as qualified compared to their colleagues. It is a normal part of college and life itself. This also helped me learn about new methods that could help get rid of my imposter syndrome or help prevent it from happening as often.

Visualize Success 

This might sound odd since none of us want ourselves to fail, yet I realized that while I was feeling like this I kept having what-if moments rather than telling myself that I could do it and that I would. I kept doubting myself and thinking that what could go wrong would go wrong. By visualizing success in either my internship or applying for law school motivates me to do better and put my best foot forward with everything that I do.

Fake it 'Til You Are It

This phrase is coined from the similar, well known phrase “fake it til you make it”. I heard it during my ambassador orientation at the beginning of Fall 2020. I thought it was very interesting and new since I had never heard of it before. I started to act much more confident in meetings and interviews and even started landing some positions that I really wanted. Rather than continuing to fake it, I could simply act how I had previously had been since I’m feeling confident and good with what I’m doing.

So, even though imposter syndrome can be something difficult to deal with, either in undergrad or life itself, it can still be managed. It just takes some time. Hopefully, these tips can help you get rid of it or help you deal with it. And just know, you got this!

Ashleen Herrarte

UC Riverside '22

Ashleen was a UCR Political Science and Philosophy major. When she was not writing articles for HCUCR, she was usually spending time with friends by going out to eat yummy foods or watching shows at home. She hopes you enjoyed reading her articles!
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