On impostor syndrome

Posted: July 7, 2017 by jennysaul in Uncategorized

There is a contest in my department for graduate students where we can submit a text that we have written in one of our seminars, and a committee awards a prize for the best text among the submitted ones.

When I saw the contest, my first reflex was to think that I had nothing worth submitting, but one of my professors encouraged me to submit the paper I had written for her class.

Turns out I was awarded the prize, and yet again my first reflex was to think that I was probably the only one who submitted a text. I was then shocked at how I was constantly belittling myself and trying to minimize my own achievement instead of celebrating it.

This made me appreciate how important it is to encourage students from minority groups to submit papers, apply for grants, etc., because very often our reflex is to think we are not good enough, which I have found to be very rare in white men.

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