Off -Third: It’s time we bid adieu to imposter syndrome

You get more things when you’re confident, so fake it ‘til you make it.


Susan Behrends Valenzuela

(Illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela)

Alexandra Cohen, Opinion Editor

Off-Third is WSN’s satire column.

Happy new year! The first day of class is of course the start of a new year; it marks the transition from one grade to the next. I am confident that I will feel this way about September for years and years after I graduate. In 2022, we’re starting school in the most real way with in-person classes, no Daily Screener and a fabulous new attitude. 

In 2022, confidence is in and imposter syndrome is out. I recently watched a TikTok that said, “I don’t have imposter syndrome, I think I should have more stuff” and I was like “OK, me” which is an absolutely normal reaction for every single video that comes up on my For You page. Not only do I think that I deserve more stuff, but that everyone at this amazing school — No. 28 in the national rankings — deserves everything and more. 

I went to an all-girls high school which means that I am way too comfortable raising my hand in class. My teeny tiny single-sex environment instilled too much confidence in me, but thank God for that! We should all start this year not being embarrassed to ask questions in our 200-person lecture or apply for that hyper-competitive internship or research opportunity. We should take a class that we’ve heard is hard just to tell everyone how much we have to study and that they’re so lucky to be taking The Science of Happiness rather than a really hard STEM course — forgive me, I couldn’t even think of a fake name for a STEM course. 

Take me, for example. I am on the waitlist for two Tisch courses. Do I feel confident that I will get into them? Yes, I’m second on the waitlist for both. Do I feel confident that I deserve to be in them? Yes, everyone knows that you can’t even think about becoming famous unless you went to or dropped out of Tisch School of the Arts. And you, just like me, are a star and deserve to be in a Tisch class. And if you like money and playing on your computer with crypto, you deserve to be in a Stern class. You deserve more than anything to complain about the Stern curve on any and every first date you go on and maybe even — against all odds — the second date. 

We are not just getting rid of our imposter syndrome in an academic setting. No, we’re walking into every club and hard-to-get-into restaurant with all the confidence in the world. Even with that horrendous fake ID from sophomore year of high school, you deserve to be there. You deserve to be there because you got into the greatest school in the greatest city in the world (sorry, Columbia). You beat a 12.2% acceptance rate so that your BeReal each day could be inside of Bobst Library in New York City, not some mediocre library in a random college town. We all go to an amazing school and we all earned it, except for the nepotism babies who should have imposter syndrome. For those of us who got here without rich and famous parents, we’ll one day be the rich and famous parents. Or, we’ll save the world with the confidence we’ll gain from reading this inspirational article and the totally-not-cringey violet pride we’ll earn with our diplomas.

WSN’s Opinion section strives to publish ideas worth discussing. The views presented in the Opinion section are solely the views of the writer.

Contact Alexandra Cohen at [email protected].