The always stunning view from Mt Cardigan - pictured are Mts. Moose, Holt's Ledge, Winslow Ledge, and Smarts
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A landscape view of New Hampshire mountains carpeted in forests with misty clouds in the valleys.

I'll be honest. Since I've arrived at Dartmouth, my entire life has changed, but things don't feel so different. What I would like to talk about in this post is imposter syndrome and some advice for making it through the college admissions process with "less" stress (easier said than done). 

I've found this issue to come up again and again whenever I talk with friends, so I hope you can take something away that you find helpful—especially for all prospective students.

For those that might not know, impostor syndrome is a feeling of self-doubt, or incompetence, where you simply don't feel worthy to possess whatever it is you may have (skill, position, ability, etc.). At Dartmouth, it usually takes on the form of students believing they aren't "good" enough to be studying here. The student body is small, we all know each other, and it's hard not to compare yourself to others, so the outcome is sometimes impostor syndrome (I also want to make sure that this is a general feeling that a portion of students have, not necessarily a universal truth).

When I was applying to Dartmouth, I was so focused on the task at hand that I lost a bit of perspective on how I might feel almost a year later as a first-year student. I'm incredibly happy and grateful to be here, but college isn't quite a solution to all of life's problems. For all current high school seniors and prospective students, I would urge you to reflect on how you may feel a year later, no matter where you end up. What will you be doing? How will that feel? For the majority of college students, I believe we're all in the same boat, and you might not realize it. Regardless of who you are, where you're from, and where you go, college life will mean college things.

Lastly, I can confidently say that students here are very open about feelings of self-doubt, and that talking with anyone will reveal how everyone struggles at some point. The Dartmouth community is truly down-to-earth. I just recently attended a student workshop hosted by the Rockefeller Center (a center for public policy) that provided tools on how to combat impostor syndrome. The workshop paired a presentation by an engaging guest speaker with small group discussions and local Thai takeout from Hanover!

If you're researching colleges, or writing essays, please take a moment to self-reflect on everything you've already accomplished and how you can continue to do something you love in the future (and maybe take a little break for something you love right now!).

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