STORY BY JASON GREEN, STAFF WRITER
PHOTO COURTESY OF CYPRESS COLLEGE PRIDE CENTER
Psychology Professor Brandy Young hosted a workshop in the Pride Center on Oct. 9 after she noticed many students experiencing imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is a syndrome that can affect everyone by causing people to have self-doubt and the feeling that they do not belong.
Imposter syndrome makes an individual feel that one mistake makes them a failure and “not up to par” with peers.
Young explained that even high achieving individuals such as celebrities and those with accolades can experience imposter syndrome. High achieving people can feel that they are not successful while being actually successful.
Young said that it is normal to have feelings of self-doubt for a short amount of time such as transitioning into a new position. The difference with imposter syndrome is that these feelings linger for prolonged periods of time.
Imposter syndrome is not considered a disorder, but it is labeled as a syndrome because it has similar elements to a disorder including dysfunction in thought that could lead to procrastination or perfectionism and underperformance or overperformance.
Imposter syndrome can also cause people to make up reasons for why they fail, which Young defines ast “self-sabotage” as she has worked with students who have the syndrome. People with the syndrome feel that they are “deathly scared that they are going to look bad in the eyes of others, but that they look bad in their own eyes”
“And most of the time when I work with students who have imposter syndrome. The cycle thing has been going on for a while,” Young said,“I think sometimes with imposter syndrome, we may be carrying baggage from these self-schemas [experiences].”
Young explored the different types of imposter syndrome such as the natural genius where they may feel like a failure if they need to study, which this type did not in previous periods of life.
Young provided some ways to alleviate imposter syndrome such as being aware, recognizing the voices in a person’s head, and looking at what others say, like a professor’s feedback.
Young told a story about one of her students who has imposter syndrome.
“When [the student] graduated, I wrote her this card, and said ‘you are not an imposter’.” The student uses the card as reaffirmation to combat their imposter syndrome Young explained.
Young suggested to stop comparing oneself to others, but compare oneself to their own progression. To combat self-sabotage, she recommends finding a study group, instead of procrastinating.
Young says that while it may be intimidating to find people and join a club, doing so makes students feel more connected to their campus.