Every so often, I feel like I’m not smart enough. Imposter syndrome hits me so hard.
In my first year at university, I expected to be average. I anticipated feeling stupid because I thought everyone would be smarter.
Now in fourth year, I can’t help but think everything will be over my head, beyond my capabilities. I tend to underestimate myself. That’s just who I am.
Even though I worry, I try to channel my anxieties into productivity. Easier said than done, I know.
I don’t know what this semester or the next one will bring, but present me wants future me to remember that I’m smarter than I think.
Don’t worry about what other people are doing or what they aren’t doing.
I have good ideas. Stop shooting all of them down.
As of now, I’m happy with my courses. I’m excited to finish strong.
I’m not a fraud or an imposter. I’m just a student doing my best. I want to improve. I need to learn and grow.
I’ll try to take risks and not regret anything, rather than playing it safe only to wonder what if.
I’ve done well in years past, so there’s no reason why I can’t succeed again.
In September 2015, I embarked on my university journey.
In high school, people told me my grades would drop. And naïve Herminia believed them. So I prepared myself to not do nearly as well. Somehow I did.
During first year, I didn’t think too much about my GPA. I thought about doing the work and being early to everything.
Come the fall of 2016, I learned that I won two academic scholarships.
Instead of thinking I was stupid, I felt somewhat smart.
In second year, I spent less time studying and more time living. My grades were a little all over the place as a result. I remember countless conversations with my best friend about how terrible I was doing. I joked about dropping out.
So I vowed to do better in third year. My fall semester went smoothly. I had great classes, good professors. I liked my grades. I lived a lot. If I could relive those four months again, I would.
2018 arrived. Second semester in the winter started off just fine. No problem. Smooth sailing. Until February when I got hit by a car while walking home from school.
It took more than a month to recover physically. I’m not sure I’ll ever recover mentally. I’m doing well these days.
I never wanted to make excuses. I didn’t ask for an extension on any assignments.
My grades dropped. But I took care of myself. Being forced to listen to my body made me a better human being.
Regardless of my GPA when all is said and done, I’m proud. I learned to listen to that tiny voice in my head, to the body I used to neglect. That matters more than any number on a piece of paper.
I know I preach to the choir that one should not assume. But if I know nothing about you except that you’re a writer, I’m going to make an exception.
Here are ten things I associate with writers.
- You read. If you’re a writer, you’re a reader. So don’t be surprised if I ask you what you’re currently reading or what novels you’ve enjoyed in the past. Bonding over books is the best type of bonding after all.
- You’re observant. Writers are amazing at observing everything and everyone. Understatement of the year. Maybe you’re secretly a ninja too. As fun as it is to be detail-oriented, that can also drive you insane. Stay sane.
- You support other writers. Since you know the struggle better than anyone, why wouldn’t you encourage others who are also struggling.
- You have a good grasp of grammar. But I also understand the urge to disregard rules completely. They were made to be broken, right?
- You can empathize. You have to put yourself in the shoes of fictional characters all the time. I hope you can do the same with human beings.
- You have an online presence. This is especially true if you’re younger. Facebook. Twitter. A blog. A website. At the very least, I’ll be able to stalk you somewhere on the Web. Oh, don’t get me started on the growing pains of social media. I’m getting so old.
- You’re smart. You probably have a wealth of knowledge in that beautiful brain of yours. Care to share?
- You like stories. Hearing them and telling them. I hope you have a lot because I’m all ears. Or if you rather listen to mine, I’d be more than willing to bore you to tears.
- You’re working on something. Whether it’s a short story or an epic novel, you probably have a work in progress on your plate. Maybe even multiple projects you’re managing at the same time. Multi-tasking is a way of life.
- You write. If all I know about is that you’re a writer, I’m going to suppose more than anything that you write. I’ll likely proceed to wonder what you dabble in. Fiction? Non-fiction? Fantasy? History?
I think it’s relatively safe to assume writers write words.
It’s hard being smart.
It isn’t easy watching people make silly errors.
It isn’t fun listening to people speak gibberish.
It isn’t pleasant when people around don’t use the cells in their brain.
I’m in a foul mood. I don’t want to offend anybody, but I can’t keep my frustrations inside any longer. Forgive me.
This rant is officially over. Tomorrow’s post will be more lighthearted and maybe even optimistic.