Who is that girl?

Oh yes, I’ve been completely MIA. I know. The thing is, with my second year oral coming soon (31 days as of today, and only because this is a leap year), my stress levels are higher than ever. Science (and panic) has basically taken over, and I’ve been spending most of my time in the lab in the past weeks. As you may imagine, this leaves little time for anything less than extremely important to be taken care of. Blogging is not among my priorities right now.

Then, you might wonder, what the hell am I doing now? Why am I blogging when I should be reading about spin exchange in oxo-bridged diiron compounds? (no, I am not making that up: that is what the paper I was reading 10 min ago is about). Well, these past days have been sort of illuminating in some ways, and I need to reflect about that a little before going on with my scientific chores.

Let’s see. Every time I talk to someone about my oral and how freaked out I am about it, I get almost the same response: “you’ll do great; you’re smart and hard working” or “you are knowledgeable”, or something along those lines. Okay, it’s true: I much rather hear that than “you better get to work if you don’t wanna get killed at your oral” or “how come you are so calm about it? It’s super hard and they’ll grill you”. But still, that is not the point. My question is: who is that girl that all these people seem to meet and trust and why haven’t I met her yet??

I won’t deny I’m hard working. I’m probably one of the hardest working people I know. Well, no, that is an overstatement. But I’m hard working, that is true. Yes, I’ve come this far because of my hard work and my qualities. That probably means I am smart. Okay, yes, I can agree with it (can I?). I’m not stupid, I can certainly agree with that. Still, I fail to understand how people think of me as such a smart, knowledgeable, reliable person that will do great when put to this hard test. How can they see such qualities in me and I can’t?

These days, I feel almost naked among the crowd, if you know what I mean. It seems that I need to know SO much, that a lifetime wouldn’t be enough to learn it. I have to write a 15-page paper in the next two weeks. Everyone says “you’ll see how little 15 pages is”. You have to be kidding me! 15 pages? in ENGLISH? ME? No way. Let’s say, for the sake of the argument, that I manage to do that. What’s next? A 2-hour oral presentation/exam, in front of the 4 members of my committee (have I mentioned they are Professors, with a PhD in chemistry each?). Wait… WHAT??!! Me, the “I have a language barrier because I’m Argentinean” girl, talking for 2 hours, IN ENGLISH?? Oh my…

And yet, people keep telling me everything will be fine.

I really want to meet this smart, confident, strong, capable girl they know! I’m sure she would do a great job showing her committee she’s ready for pursuing a PhD…

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One Response to Who is that girl?

  1. Chieh says:

    You know that has a name? It’s called “the impostor phenomenon”. Yes, it’s a THING. And… YOU’LL DO GREAT~!

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