Poet Maya Angelou once said, “I have written eleven books, but each time I think, – uh-oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.”
It is not unusual for successful people to doubt the legitimacy of their success. Many college students are no different. Your student worries that she doesn’t belong at the college, she’s a fraud, the college made a mistake by admitting her. She’s a victim of “Impostor Syndrome.”
One psychologist found that as many as 70% of people admit to feeling, at some point in their lives, that they are inadequate and don’t deserve their success. So if the feeling rings true for your student, she’s in good company. If your student secretly worries about her abilities, it may help her to know that she’s not alone.
What does your student feel?
It is important to realize that, even though you know that your student’s admission was deserved and you know that your student will do well, the fear and concern that your student feels is real. Logic may tell her that she deserves to be where she is and that she is just as qualified as her classmates, but the belief that it is all a mistake is not based on logic.