what do when you feel like you're not enough
Start writing a post
Student Life

To The College Students Who Feel Like They're Never Enough

Once you accept that you can't please everyone, you're free.

100
To The College Students Who Feel Like They're Never Enough
Marlena Schuster

First, take a breath. Breathe. Make yourself comfy. Put on some sweats, get yourself a bowl of something yummy, a cup of tea or cocoa (or wine, let's be honest), and breathe.

Okay. Still with me? Good. Now, breathe again. Take a big, deep breath.

Alright. The first thing I want you to know is that I understand how you feel. I understand the coming home from class and crying immediately after closing the door behind you. I understand the constant worrying that your friends would rather hang out without you. I understand the immense fear that someone might be mad at you. I understand feeling like there's so much you should be doing right now, but not even knowing where to start. More than anything else, I understand feeling like you never know whether or not you're ready - ready for an exam, ready for the next stage of your life, or ready to go to sleep. I know what you're feeling. I understand, because I've been there.

My biggest struggle in life generally is that even if I really do know what I'm talking about, and even if I'm really well-prepared for something, I doubt myself and I psych myself out. If it's a competitive situation, like vying for a position at work, school, etc., sometimes I even act overly humble, which then gives others an advantage they don't deserve. A lot of this lack of confidence is based in the irrational fear that I'm not enough, that I don't deserve to be where I am, that I've somehow cheated my way into the accomplishments I've conquered. Sound familiar? This is a little thing called Imposter Syndrome. Essentially, if you feel like a fraud in your life situation, whether it be school, work, friends, or whatever it may be, you might be dealing with this too. Of course, everyone experiences this differently, and the article above does a really great job explaining it.

When I was in college, I faced a few disappointments regarding not being chosen for positions I wanted. No matter how prepared I knew I was, I always panicked so much that I did myself a massive disservice. Eventually, I decided that enough was enough. A wonderful professor of mine once told me, "Alright, so, you know you're enough. You need to make us believe it, but most importantly, you need to make yourself believe it." That really stuck with me. I knew that I needed to do more to push through my nerves and showcase my best, but it hadn't truly occurred to me that that can only be done by looking inward first. Now, a lot of that came from the massive internal need to be liked/please everyone. Now, that's not a vanity thing - it's really just the (basic, normal, human) need to feel like you belong - like you've actually earned the things you've accomplished, and like your talents and skills are recognized. It's not something to feel bad about.

However, it is something that is massively hard to get over. It's taken me years and years of practice and active thought, but here's what I've learned: Even if there are people who might not be your biggest fan, that's okay. It really, really, really, really is. That same professor I spoke of earlier helped me realize this: once you allow yourself to be comfortable with the fact that it's impossible to please everyone, it actually becomes easier to make more people happy.

To be clear, I am not saying that you should value other peoples' happiness over your own, but if you're in a situation in which it would benefit you to appeal to as many as possible (applying for a job, running for a position, etc.), I promise you that you'll feel so much more confident if you try less to appeal to more people.

It takes so much pressure off, and it allows you to meet your own priorities first.

I would implore you, if you feel at all like an imposter, to remind yourself of this daily. Even hourly. Put sticky notes with it on your mirror. Write it as a note in your phone. Get it tattooed, even. Whatever you need to do to know it fully, absolutely, and always.

Now, as you move forward and graduate, I won't lie to you - things don't get easier. Whether you're continuing in your education, getting a job, traveling the world, starting a family, or are still figuring out what to do next, you need to know that you are enough. It's a tough world out there, and society can take a real toll on our mental health. But your greatest weapon is your own self-confidence. You are enough. You always were and you always will be. From a post-grad still learning herself, this knowledge has carried me through so much since college. Let's keep each other accountable, and keep each other gentle with ourselves. We are all enough.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Adulting

Unlocking Lake People's Secrets: 15 Must-Knows!

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

935762
Group of joyful friends sitting in a boat
Haley Harvey

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people.

Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

112522
man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lots of people sat on the cinema wearing 3D glasses
Pinterest

Ever wonder what your friend meant when they started babbling about you taking their stapler? Or how whenever you ask your friend for a favor they respond with "As You Wish?" Are you looking for new and creative ways to insult your friends?

Well, look no further. Here is a list of 70 of the most quotable movies of all time. Here you will find answers to your questions along with a multitude of other things such as; new insults for your friends, interesting characters, fantastic story lines, and of course quotes to log into your mind for future use.

Keep Reading...Show less
New Year Resolutions

It's 2024! You drank champagne, you wore funny glasses, and you watched the ball drop as you sang the night away with your best friends and family. What comes next you may ask? Sadly you will have to return to the real world full of work and school and paying bills. "Ah! But I have my New Year's Resolutions!"- you may say. But most of them are 100% complete cliches that you won't hold on to. Here is a list of those things you hear all around the world.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lifestyle

The Ultimate Birthday: Unveiling the Perfect Day to Celebrate!

Let's be real, the day your birthday falls on could really make or break it.

71675
​different color birthday candles on a cake
Blacksburg Children's Museum

You heard it here first: birthdays in college are some of the best days of your four years. For one day annually, you get to forget about your identity as a stressed, broke, and overworked student, and take the time to celebrate. You can throw your responsibilities for a day, use your one skip in that class you hate, receive kind cards and gifts from loved ones and just enjoy yourself.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments