Thursday, July 29, 2010

And Most of All...

I fear being brilliant and noticeably different. Being resented by my peers and mistrusted by those in authority. I am afraid that I will fail not because I am incapable, but because I grow weary of eternally fighting to prove my worth.


I got in to my first choice of colleges, and I'm even going to be able to afford the tuition. Enrollment deposit has been sent, I'm registered for orientation, and I've been busily calling and emailing about apartments. This is an incredible opportunity for me...

It's also completely terrifying.

The thing is, I tend to have a huge case of Impostor Syndrome even in the best of situations. I routinely score in the 99th percentile on standardized tests, but so what - those tests are generally biased and don't say much about actual intelligence. All that means is that I'm good at taking standardized tests. It doesn't matter that I am at the top of the class in what are generally considered the hardest courses available. I can still tell myself that because those courses are offered at a community college they are easier than they would be at a four year school. I've been known to self-sabotage in ways that prevent me from being as intellectually challenged as I could be (that's how I ended up at the community college in the first place) because I'm incredibly afraid that my lifetime's worth of experience is false, that really I am at best average and if I try for anything more I will fail.

So I got into one of the best technical universities in the United States, a "New Ivy" according to whoever it is that makes up that kind of distinction. I'm not a traditional aged student - not too far off, but enough that I will stand out in classrooms full of 18-20 year olds. I'm female, going to a school that is about 70% male. I'm queer, and unapologetically feminist. And I know that for a woman to successfully travel the path I want in life she must be exceptional. I am horribly afraid that I am not.

I also fear that I am.