Imposter Syndrome

April 22, 2021
a girl's face with blurred blue over top and a background of blue waves
Art by Kim Salac

Away from home with imposter syndrome
Fading far from the plight of perfectionism
Taunted by the unexplored, not on any exec boards
Sometimes struggling to just get out of bed

My roommate wakes up and runs ten miles
While I have clothes heaped in piles
And a hundred unorganized files on my desktop
Too anxious to answer an email

In constant comparison and competition
I’m not motivated by grades or majors
Student governance or unpaid labor
But paranoid I need to fit in

In a sea of silent, studious strangers
Planning their marketability and future wealth
I try to focus on myself, my energy, my mental health

Rather than be chiseled down for four years like stone
I resolve to leave here having loved and grown
And in this is struggle I am not alone


As a student who struggles with mental health, the competitive atmosphere and ideology at UVA can be overwhelming. This poem describes the cognitive shift necessary to prioritize one’s own health and well-being within a culture motivated by performance.

 

 

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