Imposter syndrome is that feeling of “I don’t belong here” specifically because “I don’t know enough.” It’s a common type of anxiety experienced by graduate students as novice experts in their field.  It can prevent students from making the most of their educational experience because they are afraid to try new things or attempt challenges for fear of judgement. They feel like a fraud, and worry that someone will realize they’re a fraud, even though that’s not true.  If you are accepted into a graduate program, you deserve to be there. You have earned your place there, even if you sometimes feel  out of place there.

It’s important to remember that this feeling is common when you are surrounded by academics who are experts in the field and who have had years to hone their skill-sets. It’s unfair to compare yourself to them or to others in your program.    Sometimes the feeling is so intense that it becomes a barrier that cripples a student’s academic performance.  Check out the resources below to learn how to manage and overcome “Imposter Syndrome.”

Here’s an article that describes the common symptoms of Imposter Syndrome and how to combat them.  

This is an infographic with some suggestions on how to  manage feelings of Imposter Syndrome.