‘You deserve to be here’

UW-Whitewater at Rock County Convocation


Cennedy Hoppe, News Editor

The UW-Whitewater at Rock County Convocation celebrated the start of the semester for the campus at the Kirk Denmark Theatre in the Wells Culture Center Sept. 9. This year’s event encouraged the attendees to read “How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome” written by Genevieve Carlton, Ph.D. Afterwards, attendees enjoyed pizza in the quad while discussing the article and passed around words of encouragement for a great year ahead. 

“Imposter Syndrome” was first identified in 1978, as a condition where an individual comes across with feelings of being a fraud. Students who experience this condition often feel as if their good grades might be an accident, that they do not deserve to be successful, or assume that positive feedback from others is a lie. 

Because of this condition most college students avoid taking risks or even speaking up in a class because they are too afraid to fail. Procrastination or over-preparing is prevalent to this condition.

Imposter Syndrome can also be transferred into social settings, it is not just confined to an academic standpoint. Feelings of not belonging, withdrawing, not making connections with others, are all symptoms of Imposter Syndrome in a social setting. With these symptoms and examples, it is shown that Imposter Syndrome can potentially drag your self-confidence down and contribute to anxiety and depression. 

“Instead of bottling up feelings of inadequacy, students should confront them,” Carlton wrote in “How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome.”   

The event also featured remarks from Dr. Michael Lango, Director of the Academic Advising and Exploration Center. In his speech Lango reflected and shared his past academic experiences. He paralleled his own problems he faced enduring Imposter Syndrome himself, such as dropping out of school, but prevailing and returning later in his life. It took him 14 years to complete his undergraduate degree. 

“I dropped out. The reality was, I belong there. I just didn’t believe it, and so I left,” said Lango.

Lango later continues to talk about his college experience and when he realized he was suffering from Imposter Syndrome. 

“First – acknowledge it and talk about it. When the doubt starts creeping in and the voices start telling you that you don’t belong or aren’t smart enough, acknowledge those thoughts and talk about your fear, anxiety, and feelings with others,” said Lango.

Lango talks about the importance of turning to others for support when you realize when you are dealing with Imposter Syndrome. There are many different ways in dealing with Imposter Syndrome. Some different ways are, separating feelings from fact, don’t listen to what your mind is telling you and look at your grades, accentuate the positive, recognize the positive and celebrate it, visualize success, put yourself in the mindset of success and many more. 

The event hosted many individuals and directed its message to the students in attendance.

“You are not an imposter, you deserve to be here, and I for one am incredibly excited to see where this journey will take you,” said Lango.

Attendees of the UW-Whitewater at Rock County Convocation enjoy pizza on the quad after the event.