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Imposter Syndrome Yet?


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Anyone got imposter syndrome yet? I just got accepted to my top choice today and suddenly came down with it. "Oh god I'm not going to pass the coursework in first year and won't continue, then I'll have turned down a direct-entry PhD and end up with just another masters degree". Anyone else??

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I've got it to the point where I am seriously considering not even attending this year. I'm beginning to finally realize that all my professors inflated my ego for four years and never told me the truth or dared to criticize me. They didn't help me by not criticizing me or pointing out anything I did wrong. Now if/when I go to grad school, I'm going to fall apart if things don't go well at first, which they probably won't because I'm not smart enough for grad school. I never should have applied in the first place. My professors lied to me and stroked my ego instead of being blunt and discouraging me from wasting my time applying.

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I've got it to the point where I am seriously considering not even attending this year. I'm beginning to finally realize that all my professors inflated my ego for four years and never told me the truth or dared to criticize me. They didn't help me by not criticizing me or pointing out anything I did wrong. Now if/when I go to grad school, I'm going to fall apart if things don't go well at first, which they probably won't because I'm not smart enough for grad school. I never should have applied in the first place. My professors lied to me and stroked my ego instead of being blunt and discouraging me from wasting my time applying.

Or, you could be a perfectly capable applicant caught in the crosshairs of a hard year in a hard subfield. Grad school is mostly about hard work and very little about innate intelligence.B)

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And here I was, thinking I was the only one..... :lol:

But seriously.... I do get the Imposter Syndrome often... but not all the time... it comes and goes... sometimes I feel that I am quite good (not in an arrogant way, in a "I can make it" way....), and that happens especially when I finish a task, like writing a paper, etc. Now that I have been accepted into a PhD program, I keep reminding myself that I wrote a 300-page M.A thesis (which was quite impressive in quality according to all professors who read it, including ones that do not know me, and would not be keen on stroking my ego), and did most of the work for it in less than 4 months.. and telling myself all this convinces me that I can *be good* if I chose to concentrate and put in a lot of effort and time... I think any difficulties I might have in the PhD program will be related to procrastination and perfectionism... which are problems I've struggled with in the Masters program as well, though not with any bad consequences (4.0 GPA).... So I think one way to get over this Imposter Syndrome, is to remind yourself of good things you've done - like your Masters thesis, a paper you wrote and especially liked, etc. B)

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Anyone got imposter syndrome yet? I just got accepted to my top choice today and suddenly came down with it. "Oh god I'm not going to pass the coursework in first year and won't continue, then I'll have turned down a direct-entry PhD and end up with just another masters degree". Anyone else??

I must add: I am not *too* worried about coursework. I have been more worried about comprehensive exams... In fact, I am already feeling extremely anxious about those exams, as if I have to write them tomorrow! :unsure: I think I won't have problems with coursework (I hope so anyway), but the comprehensives are freaking me out. :o *tries to breathe* :P

Edited by TheSquirrel
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I'm not sure about Imposter Syndrome, but now that I've gotten into a program I'm really excited about, I've been surprised to find myself questioning (on occasion) whether I actually want to spend the next five years of my life studying political science/whether I can handle it/whether I'll hate it. I'm sure it's just due to it being that awkward last undergrad semester where I'm feeling nostalgic for the school where I currently am, friends, and so on. I know I'm still at least as excited about what lies ahead, including the chance to tackle the coursework. Once the summer hits and the planning starts, I think the excitement will only increase. We'll see!

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  • 4 weeks later...

oh totally, after speaking to some of my cohort and researching the current grad students I've realized that I'm likely the youngest and least experienced of my year--I'm going straight out of undergrad. I've also been coming to the realization in the last year that my undergrad education has really no relation to what I will be studying in grad school--I'm interested in quant IR. I'm convinced that maryland accidentally mixed my application up with someone else's and thinks I'm somebody much more impressive.

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oh totally, after speaking to some of my cohort and researching the current grad students I've realized that I'm likely the youngest and least experienced of my year--I'm going straight out of undergrad. I've also been coming to the realization in the last year that my undergrad education has really no relation to what I will be studying in grad school--I'm interested in quant IR. I'm convinced that maryland accidentally mixed my application up with someone else's and thinks I'm somebody much more impressive.

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oh totally, after speaking to some of my cohort and researching the current grad students I've realized that I'm likely the youngest and least experienced of my year--I'm going straight out of undergrad. I've also been coming to the realization in the last year that my undergrad education has really no relation to what I will be studying in grad school--I'm interested in quant IR. I'm convinced that maryland accidentally mixed my application up with someone else's and thinks I'm somebody much more impressive.

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oh totally, after speaking to some of my cohort and researching the current grad students I've realized that I'm likely the youngest and least experienced of my year--I'm going straight out of undergrad. I've also been coming to the realization in the last year that my undergrad education has really no relation to what I will be studying in grad school--I'm interested in quant IR. I'm convinced that maryland accidentally mixed my application up with someone else's and thinks I'm somebody much more impressive.

Nope, if you've been admitted to a school, it means that they think your application is impressive. Study hard, don't be afraid of late nights, lack of sleep, and pursuing good ideas, and you'll be fine.

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