To my fellow phonies,
You are in good company!
I’ve been doing a lot of reflection in terms of my career path lately. This semester has been much more “involved” than the first year of my post-secondary education, and as a result of that, I’ve been carrying quite a few feelings of self-doubt.
I can’t seem to shake this feeling that I don’t belong in my field of interest. The amount of times I’ve considered changing my major or straight up dropping out of college all together recently has been sad, and the saddest part about these considerations is that it’s not as if they’re coming from a lack of interest. I have a desire to learn and typically enjoy the classes that I take, and yet, here I am constantly questioning whether or not college and I are a compatible match.
I think a big part of it might be because I’m pursuing an arts related degree. I’m majored in film and video production, which means I’m interacting with creative minds on a daily basis. Many of my peers have been doing this since their hands were big enough to hold a camera. Combine that with the fact that most of the material has been entirely new territory for me, and you’ll have me consistently comparing myself to others and making myself feel bad in the process.
The best way I can describe the way I feel is…fraudulent. When I see talent in others, I suddenly lose any potential I have as an individual. I become afraid that others are going to see me as mediocre. I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m feeling jealous or envious of my peers, but rather I feel intense feelings of admiration for them and frustration towards myself for not meeting my standards.
Logically, I know these feelings are somewhat irrational. It seems a bit silly to be comparing myself to more experienced classmates when the whole point of school is to learn what I don’t already know. My education and somebody else’s education are entirely separate entities, so why am I continuously struggling to make that separation?
I decided to do a bit of research about why I might be having these feelings. I wanted to know if these feelings were normal or if it was genuinely time for me to consider a change in career paths. To my surprise, I was able to find quite a few people online that felt the same way that I often do. After a bit of Googling, I was able to finally put a name to what I was feeling: imposter’s syndrome.