Post #5: Is it Just you or Does Everyone Struggle?


Is it Just You?

When you look around, do you feel like everyone else gets it?  Do you a have knot in your stomach because you did not understand something the first time around?  Maybe you are wondering why you cannot be as smart.  You feel inadequate because you have looked at your engineering homework many times without knowing where to start or how to finish.  And you wonder:  am I the only one?

You are Not Alone!

If you have not read Post #1 yet, I recommend you read it.  If you are comfortable with engineering as your major, then hear me loud and clear:  virtually all of your classmates struggle with self-doubt.  Like you, they hide it very well.  Like you, they probably attempt to suppress their feelings of anxiousness.  I tell you this as a result of my time spent as an engineering advisor and as a student.  I frequently observed this as an engineering advisor:  students were more likely to open up to me individually behind closed doors.  They felt comfortable enough to lay their issues out on the table without fear of judgment or criticism.  And these powerful one-on-one meetings offered them a sense of relief.

 I would like for you to understand that you are, in fact, normal.  Your engineering peers are having similar human feelings that are not for public display.  If both you and your cohorts were to openly discuss your doubts and anxiety, you would be pleasantly surprised to learn how much you have in common.

 But in general, engineering students do not volunteer feelings with each other; I completely understand, and I used to be guilty of the same.  Would it have helped me to know back then that my engineering peers were afraid, insecure or stressed out?  Absolutely.  It would have been helpful to know that I was not the only one questioning my own abilities.  Next time you are sitting in an engineering class, look around.  What you will see are many different versions of insecurity on display.  I hope it is relieving to know that you are not the only one.


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