It is back to school season and many students will be heading to college for the first time. As a recent college grad, I feel compelled to impart a very important piece of advice that will guide you through college and well into your adult life: Know that you are brilliant and that you deserve to be here.
For much of college, I secretly felt like an impostor. Everyone seemed smarter than me, more involved than me, more social than me. I felt so unprepared that I literally thought my IQ was too low to learn the material. But the truth of the matter is that everyone feels this way when they enter college. As a student of science, I have always believed that we all have same hardware, the same amount of RAM. It is just that some people partition a larger portion to academic smarts while others dedicate more to social, relationship, or practical smarts. In the end we are all smart. It is just that some smarts can be quantified while others cannot. So don’t worry about how you rank compared to the student sitting next to you. Trust your RAM and remember that you would not have been accepted if you didn’t have the ability to be successful. You just need to find your niche. Explore your academic interests and mingle with your peers. There is no other place in life with as much intellectual and social freedom as the college environment. So jump in and have fun! But don’t forget to go to class. Know that there are bleachers of people rooting for you to succeed: your family, your friends, your professors, and even this lowly blogger.
And in case you are like me and suffer from impostor syndrome, chin up and sit straight! You have the proper hardware to be successful. You just need the right software to make it happen.