AiC Community Member and TECHNOLOchica Alexandra Marlette uses mentoring to conquer imposter syndrome.
"Many awful things happened my junior year of high school that made me seriously question going into Computer Science (CS). Senior year, I quit all the technology clubs at my school and really tried to pull myself together looking for the confidence and passion I had held for programming. I rediscovered these things by teaching two groups of middle school girls (one group with NCWIT AspireIt and one with the Girl Scouts). When I felt lost and my passion waned, getting back to basics and teaching about what I loved helped ease the sting of my bad experience in technology and reinvigorate my want to pursue CS. I'm now a senior in college, and if I told you I didn't struggle still with imposter syndrome, I would be lying. However, being in college and bonding with the other women on my campus, mentoring other women in STEM, and being active in the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Community helped me find a supportive group and keep in contact with them. Knowing when to ask your support group for help is not a weakness, it’s a strength. I am still finding my niche in the technology field, and it’s OK if it takes a few tries to find your niche. Finding an environment where you are happy in a role that you enjoy is far more important then being in a certain role because of your degree. No journey is straight forward or on well paved paths, and if it appears that everyone else has it all figured out, they most likely don’t, and that’s OK. I have faced my fair share of discrimination, but supporting other women and having their support goes a long way in overcoming the hard parts. When you move up, take women with you; and, never feel to important to stop and teach someone. A mantra I hope to keep, and maybe a mantra for those still feeling lost in college, regardless of your major: YOU ARE TALENTED. NOT AN IMPOSTER."
Photo credit: Dear World