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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Goodbye Column: Don’t let imposter syndrome stop you.

Don’t let those thoughts saying “you’re not good enough” get in the way

After a long battle with imposter syndrome, I finally mustered the courage to apply to The Alligator inside a hotel bathroom two hours before applications were due. Inside my head, I figured I was not nearly as qualified for the position, as I only had published three articles the semester before and never had stepped into a newspaper company before. But two weeks later, I got a call that officially started my role as a student journalist. 

As a general assignment reporter my spring semester of junior year, I often felt like I was running behind the rest of my co-workers trying to be half as good as them. Most nights I would get the dreadful text from my editor telling me to do better and, as the dramatic Cancer that I am, I would cry on my kitchen floor while eating some vegan Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. And I would be lying if I didn't think about quitting every day. But as dramatic as I am, I’m equally as stubborn. Not only did I want to prove to my editor that I would be a better writer, I also had to prove it to myself because, at the end of the day, that’s why I applied to the position. 

The following summer semester I began writing for The Avenue – the best section, in my (completely biased) opinion. I instantly fell in love with the stories I had the chance to produce, and I got the opportunity to write my first feature story for the Pride special edition. My editors at the time, Nora O’Neill and Chloe Greenberg, helped me grow as a writer, and for that, I am so grateful. 

Fast forward to my final semester of senior year, I became digital editor for The Avenue, and I was able to catch a glimpse of the other side of the coin. As my knowledge grew, my feelings of imposter syndrome slowly diminished.

Now, after nearly a year of being at The Alligator, all the hiccups and memories were 100% worth it. So whether you’re a freshman or senior applying to be a part of a team of staff writers, don’t let those thoughts saying “you’re not good enough” get in the way. Apply anyway because “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” - Wayne Gretzky - Michael Scott - Valentina Botero.  

Valentina Botero was digital editor of The Avenue.

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