Imposter syndrome has come to occupy an insidious space in academia, casting a shadow that conceals a genuine sense of belonging among students. It functions as a silent oppressor and gives rise to internal dialogues of self-doubt and criticism, often kept unspoken due to the fear that these doubts might be externalized, branding one as a sham. Standing among the vibrant tapestry of Cornell’s campus, I find myself amidst 15,000 students, each with unique backgrounds, experiences and stories to tell. Nonetheless, what connects our discrepancies is the common thread of our reputable and rightfully deserved education.
So why the cognitive dissonance? It’s all too easy to dismiss my previous statement as deceit, to project it onto those who surround you, all while maintaining an incredulous stance that you — yes, you — warrant the recognition as someone who belongs.