It’s that time of year again. It’s that time of year when everyone feels overwhelmed with responsibilities, discouraged, depressed or just confused. Whether you’re feeling those emotions because of midterms, you haven’t had enough sleep in days, or life simply isn’t going your way—I’m here to tell you that you are not alone.
On November 3, 2018, I attended an annual conference hosted by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). The theme of NABJ’s conference was “Rethink Journalism”. After a day full of workshops, keynote speaker Jamal Andress, producer and reporter for Newsy, took the floor. It wasn’t until he spoke that I really “rethought journalism”. A piece of his speech that impacted me the most was when he explained how a lot of college students and journalists suffer from the “imposter syndrome”. As defined by Harvard Business Review, ‘Imposters’ suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence.” In simpler terms, the imposter syndrome is convincing yourself that you’re inadequate or that you don’t belong where you are. This resonated with me and several other students in the room because the rigor of the journalism school’s curriculum and competitiveness of the industry can easily make you feel like you don’t belong or you’re not doing enough. And this can also be the case for any major or just life in general.
It’s so easy to become discouraged, depressed, and searching for answers to situations that are throwing you off track. You might be unsure of your purpose because it seems like everything around you is crumbling…but if you don’t take anything else away from this post, I want you to know one thing– you are not an imposter. You belong. You have a purpose. You will get to where you need to be.
I made a vague post a week ago about feeling defeated because I was going through a rough patch. It just seemed like everything in my life had become so complicated and all the odds were stacked up against me. A family friend commented something on my post that I will never forget, “God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Some of you might be wondering, what does that mean? Well, my interpretation of that is in our weakest, most vulnerable moments, we are forced to realize that we need God to sustain us. If we could get ourselves through our own trials and tribulations what purpose does he serve? Far too often we want to avoid weakness and end up missing the power in it. God has a formidable way of using people, circumstances and vulnerability to push you to be totally dependent on Him. So with that being said, the next midterm you feel down about, the next challenge you don’t know how to face, or the next moment you feel like you’re confused about what your purpose is—keep in mind that God will never give you more than you can bear.