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Tackling Imposter Syndrome During a Pandemic

Updated: Nov 3

By Caroline Franklin, PR/Media Director, Fall 2020


In the midst of a pandemic and a semester on Zoom, it feels as if nothing belongs. Everything seems out of place, and it is easy to forget what it feels like to be in a physical learning environment. Personally, being on the floor of my bedroom or sitting at my kitchen table during online meetings only adds to my feeling that I do not deserve leadership positions or that I am not smart enough to partake in a class. I am willing to bet that in a professional online environment, those feelings are magnified. 

Let’s face it: there is no scheduled ending to COVID-19. As much as we would like to think we could be back in class or in the office next year, this could be our new normal for a very long time. So, let’s talk about how to battle imposter syndrome. Here are a few things I encourage you to try this semester: 

Remind yourself who you are.  If you feel as if you aren’t intelligent to be sitting in that class, I want you to remember that you were admitted to that program because the university saw your value and all that you have accomplished. If you are feeling like you shouldn’t be the leader of that group, remember the committee that decided you were perfect for that role, remember all of the other candidates who were considered. Remember that out of everyone, they chose you. 

Give yourself grace. 

Nobody expects you to be perfect right now. If you are feeling like an imposter, seek out a mentor, a teacher, or a friend that will listen and reassure you of who you are, and all that you have done in your life that led you to where you are now. 

Define a space for your work-self and your home-self A perk of working from home is that you have every right to work right from your bed, pajamas and all. However, that provides no physical barrier from the duties you have to do for school or work, and the duties you have at home. When you define a space for just work, you create an area where you can be the leader, student, or teacher that you need to be. When you leave that space, you are perfectly able to return to the person you need to be to take care of yourself. 

I hope that these three tips are helpful! You are powerful, and we will all get through this together. 

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