LSE - Small Logo
LSE - Small Logo

Sakina

May 15th, 2024

Overcoming imposter syndrome: insights from a third-year student

0 comments | 2 shares

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Sakina

May 15th, 2024

Overcoming imposter syndrome: insights from a third-year student

0 comments | 2 shares

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Are you someone who constantly seeks academic validation? Do you sit in awe of others for their intellect and doubt yours? You’ve been accepted into a top university in the world but you doubt yourself. You may wonder how this happened, or see it as a fluke, but it’s not. You got an offer because you deserve it and if you’re constantly feeling like this, read on!

To start off, I would just like to acknowledge that you’re amongst many others with these same feelings. It’s hard to argue that we start all on the same level when starting university since we all have different life experiences. However, what I can tell you is that LSE will recognise you as the same; when you walk into a lecture hall or class, you’re amongst peers who’ve accessed the same university as you. Nobody’s better and nobody’s worse — there are things that everybody needs to work on.

These feelings of doubt may suggest that you face imposter syndrome, believing that you’re undeserving of your achievements. You may feel as though you’re not intelligent enough and that eventually, others will discover this. But ironically, if you have these thoughts, you’re most likely very well accomplished — and I don’t doubt you are too!

Accept that offer

If you’re in the midst of deciding whether you should accept your offer to LSE, don’t make your decision when you’re uncertain. Explore the various opportunities to visit LSE, such as LSE Offer Holders’ Day, LSE Discovery sessions, or even Experience LSE from home! 

LSE Offer Holders’ Day may be one of the first times you meet peers who will be attending the same university as you. Don’t override your experience with thoughts which disregard your success. I know this is easier said than done, but never be intimidated to go to your university of your dreams just because you feel you don’t deserve it.

You don’t know what others are going through — they may try to present themselves as they wish or be perceived as smart and scholarly-like — but in reality, they’re just another student with similar doubts just like you. Don’t be jealous or intimidated, but rather inspired. Allow yourself to engage with others rather than being afraid of them.

My experience

Speaking from my personal experience, it’s easy to lose out because you’re afraid you’re the least deserving in the room. At LSE, I’ve noticed that everybody’s constantly in awe of someone else, thinking about how much better they are than themselves. I’m privy to this as I constantly hear the thoughts of others and wonder why they sound so smart and I sound like an absolute train wreck. This mindset puts pressure on yourself, but also on them too. Never count yourself out because you’re in fact comparing yourself to a myth. 

Trust me when I say they aren’t as scary as you think. I found out that discussions with peers I was afraid of in my first year were some of the most intriguing conversations that I’ve had. That comfort zone that we attempt to keep ourselves in can limit us from finding those who push us to become the best version of ourselves.

I had access to the LSE Student Wellbeing Service which helped me get a hold of my thoughts rather than my usual routine of repressing and suppressing them. It’s important to not be afraid of how you feel because they’re your emotions —  feel those feelings, but don’t let them consume you.

Overcoming these thoughts start with changing your mindset about your own abilities. Try talking to others who acknowledge your accomplishments and remind yourself that you earned your place at LSE. Coming from a final-year student, don’t waste your journey because you think you don’t deserve it. Congratulations, and I hope you have a wonderful time at LSE because you’ve earned it!

About the author

Sakina

I’m Sakina and I’m a third year Sociology student at LSE. I’m quite interested in the interconnections between empire, nationality and race in the UK. I also have an interest in educational inequality and attainment. I’ve lived in London my whole life and love writing. Feel free to interact with my posts and I hope you enjoy them.

Posted In: Applying: Undergraduate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Bad Behavior has blocked 1520 access attempts in the last 7 days.