A new imposter syndrome journey

I am so deeply afraid of imposter syndrome.

It started when I was 15 and was appointed as the new concertmaster of my high school’s strings orchestra over a senior, I genuinely believed she was better than me at violin, but I understood the rationale of my teacher’s choice as I would assume the position for the next three years. I felt like an imposter, because the concert master before me had been playing violin for nearly as long as I’d been alive, and I had only started in my teenage years. He was someone I looked up to greatly as an inspiration, a quite literal genius who would go on to UPENN and study medicine at Mayo Clinic.

In my senior year of high school I got the role of Scar in our production of Lion King. I felt like a fraud. I fought constantly with my director, I had never seen a teacher get so frustrated with me. I was used to being the golden student.

In university, I am known as the magician. I was invited to and performed multiple stage shows. Again, I felt like an imposter. I’m not nearly as good as the magicians I aspire to be like, and I fear that some day, another magician will see my stage performance and call me out for using simple and mainstream tricks.

(delayed flight by two days) today I’ll be taking a plane and leaving my home city for the first time since 2019 to spend a semester abroad at Cambridge University.

I have an essay due on my first supervision at Cambridge, which are the weekly 1-on-1 tutorial sessions you take at Cambridge for the course you are s studying. The essay is about intuition and Kant’s explanations of reality. There’s no hiding in a class where you are the only student.


But. Here’s the weird thing. I haven’t had this imposter syndrome feeling since 2019 before I had to come home. I always have imposter syndrome when I’m doing awesome things: when I’m performing violin solos, giving monologues as Scar, and performing magic to a full auditorium back at Villanova. “I shouldn’t be here,” I think to myself, right before I stand in front of hundreds of people and perform a magic trick for the first time.

People often get this imposter syndrome feeling when they are uncomfortable.  But is it specifically those situations where you go out of your comfort zone that you grow and do amazing things. These are the moments I need to relish and enjoy. This is what it feels like to feel alive.

I want to feel uncomfortable. I want to do great things again. I genuinely feel like I lost the past two years of my life. The past two years have been god awful. I think that narrative has been shared with a lot of people. But I don’t want this to be a pity story

The next two years will be different. I can only hope it will be. Today I am stepping out of my comfort zone, away from my family for the first time in two years, away from the couch I called home. A new country, a new imposter syndrome journey at Cambridge… More life.


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