I just transferred to JMU this semester from Blue Ridge Community College. Last semester I was constantly anxious about getting into JMU, making good grades, and (ironically enough) not getting too anxious. I had to put in a lot of effort to raise my GPA to get into JMU. I didn’t do well my freshman year due to ignoring the fact that I was depressed, which in turn obliterated any motivation I had to do anything.
I am now over half way through my first semester at JMU, and I’m doing well but I’m finding myself with imposter syndrome. If you don’t know, imposter syndrome (otherwise known as fraud syndrome) is the feeling of not being good enough and doubting your accomplishments. I feel like an outsider walking around campus and when I earn a good grade I am happy but I also feel wrong about it. I’m always worried that I’m not doing enough, and I feel guilty when I allow myself to relax even though I’m on track with all of my classes. I was planning on getting ahead in my classes over spring break, but I had a little revelation:
It is okay to relax without feeling guilty about it!
I had already done my actual spring cleaning in my room, so I figured for the rest of spring break I would do some spring cleaning in my mind. On the second to last day of spring break I sat on the couch all day watching some of my favorite movies and drinking wine with no guilt, yay! The next day I slept in, had a really good workout, and did some planning for the rest of the semester. While planning I started feeling overwhelmed, so I came up with some ideas on how to calm myself down and stay positive when this happens:
- I used to bitch and complain in my journal and that always made me feel pessimistic. I decided that now when I start to think negatively I’m going to write about the positive parts of my day/week.
- I need to keep up a workout routine! My mental health went downhill after I stopped swimming year-round and I always feel more positive about everything when I exercise.
- Set aside a night for myself at least once a week. Everyone needs a self-care night to do the things that make them happy and sadly I have not had many of those this year.
Despite the imposter syndrome I have been feeling, I am proud of myself for the work I’ve put in this semester. I continually doubt myself in everything I do and I’m starting to be more self-aware of it. I need to keep in mind all I have accomplished and how important my well-being is while I work on accomplishing more.
I hope that everyone can benefit from mine or finds their own ways to stay positive throughout the stress of the second half of the semester!