I found this entry on Postsecret:
I know the chances that the person who sent this reads my blog are practically nil, but I couldn’t not respond to it.
I graduated my undergrad with a 3.90. I graduated my Master’s program with a 3.90. All evidence points to my being intelligent and capable, and every single time I enter a new learning opportunity – a workshop, a class, teaching the start of a new term – I feel that same insecurity that this person expresses.
Let me say that again – EVERY… SINGLE… TIME.
We are our own toughest critics, and it seems to be a universal habit for people to believe that they are insufficient to whatever task they’re set to. What most people don’t appreciate is that it takes a while to get into a rhythm; to get in the habit of thinking in the different ways that are required, to learn to manage time in ways that allow for things to get done effectively, and to develop the confidence to participate in conversations and debates that we suspect are way out of our league.
The truth of the matter is that, with only a few exceptions, we are ALL smart enough to do this. The best advice I can give to new students – especially adult students returning to (or starting) college – is to “fake it ’till you make it.” Believe that you can do this, behave as though you can, and keep beating back the voice in your head that tells you that you’re not kidding anyone. While faking it, though, it’s also important to BE there – pay attention, do the reading, do the homework, and try to really think about the stuff you’re learning, even (especially?) out of class. Pretty soon, you’re going to realize that you’re making new connections, you’re seeing things you might not have seen before, and those conversations don’t seem so intimidating anymore.
Trust me. You can do this.