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I just started my MA, and I'm not feeling much of this imposter syndrome that I have heard so much about. The coursework seems about the same as it did in undergrad for me, because I actually did all of the work in undergrad. 

 

The only thing I feel incompetent about is that I'm somehow missing something and not getting everything done that I need to (even though I'm following instructions and using the syllabi). It's only the second week, and I have already read 4 chapters of the DSM 5 and 3 chapters of another textbook, and written two 5 page papers.

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It really depends on your program.  I never had any issues with feeling like an imposter in my MS.  I have, however, sometimes wondered why I got admitted versus someone else to my current program.

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  • 2 weeks later...

As far as I can tell (and this definitely may vary with your own experiences) a lot of that may have to do with the difference in culture between terminal Masters  and PhD programs. Most people I've met who tend suffer from impostor syndrome (myself included) tend to follow more research-oriented career trajectories.

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I feel like an impostor because I was rejected by every programme I applied to except for the #1 program in the world for my field :|

However, they sent us some readings we have to get done for the induction weekend and for one specific one they said "it's important to read this, even though it's a difficult read" (paraphrasing) and... it was a very easy text. This really put the feelings of impostor-ness into perspective!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I kind of get the feeling but I don't.  It's more of a feeling that I'm missing something, not that I'm somehow a fraud.  Everyone else in my cohort appears to be busting their balls, and even my office mates are running around working like hell, and here I am with my max 2 page proposal due at the end of October twiddling my thumbs.  My supervisor advised me to take it easy this semester since all of my TA hours are first semester, but I still feel like I could be doing something else.  So I guess I'll get my independent reading course all squared away and my topic locked down for next term and start writing my SSHRC/NSERC drafts.

 

Am I missing something, or was grad school overhyped as very difficult?

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  • 3 weeks later...

I kind of get the feeling but I don't.  It's more of a feeling that I'm missing something, not that I'm somehow a fraud.  Everyone else in my cohort appears to be busting their balls, and even my office mates are running around working like hell, and here I am with my max 2 page proposal due at the end of October twiddling my thumbs.  My supervisor advised me to take it easy this semester since all of my TA hours are first semester, but I still feel like I could be doing something else.  So I guess I'll get my independent reading course all squared away and my topic locked down for next term and start writing my SSHRC/NSERC drafts.

 

Am I missing something, or was grad school overhyped as very difficult?

Difficulty varies from semester to semester. There really is an ebb and flow to it.  If you focus on having a good work/life balance you may find yourself doing better than other students in the program who haven't learned that valuable skill.  Grad school is preparing many of us for academia, and in R1 institutions we will have very similar demands on our time (just shaped differently), so learning how to make research/studying work for you will in the end be invaluable.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I definitely get it! I am finishing my MA currently and applying to PhD programs and have mostly gotten over my 'imposter syndrome' but especially at the beginning of my MA program --  I felt like my undergraduate Honours supervisor helped me so much - editing, advice, etc. that I had somehow tricked my graduate school into thinking I could do an MA when I really had no idea what I was doing! 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I just started my MA, and I'm not feeling much of this imposter syndrome that I have heard so much about. The coursework seems about the same as it did in undergrad for me, because I actually did all of the work in undergrad. 

In general, those who suffer from imposter syndrome feel as if their acceptance into a program was by mistake, someone sneezed as they were reaching for the reject button and accidentally hit accept as a result.  They feel inadequate; not like they don't belong but more like they shouldn't belong.  

 

You sound like an overachiever.  

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