A couple days ago I posted about how I tell my story at orientation, but I hadn’t written it out. I give my talk again tomorrow and have spent some time writing out some of my story. Here’s an excerpt from what I wrote:
I was a college drop out. I was in my second year of college when I decided that I couldn’t handle all of the challenges that I was facing being away from home and on my own for school. I barely made it through the first two years before I found out my grade point average was close to putting me on academic probation. I remember going to my advisor and asking what major could I switch to so that I don’t have to take organic chemistry!? They replied, “Psychology or Sociology.” I quickly responded, “Great! Switch me!” I wasn’t interested in chemistry or biology, even though I decided to declare my major as microbiology/pre-med. I chose that major because my Filipino parents wanted me to be a doctor. See, being a child of immigrant parents, you know how much they sacrificed to leave their home country to make a better life for themselves and their children. A lot of feelings of shame and guilt came up, so I avoided telling my parents I stopped enrolling in classes. I felt like I really let them down. But what was really showing up were feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness. I often had thoughts like: If I ask for help, someone will realize they made a mistake letting me into college.
Looking back on this part of my story, I believe I was experiencing what some have coined as Imposter Syndrome or Imposter Phenomenon, which is the anxiety and fear inducing thought that my ability to be a successful student in college is not real and will be exposed as a ruse. This bring up a reflective question for me…where do these thoughts come from? and who is really telling my story?