Author: G. Douple

“I AM NOT HIP ENOUGH FOR THIS” And Other Imposter Syndrome Thoughts

Imposter Syndrome apparently often strikes grad students. The dominant symptom is the overwhelming notion that you’re a fraud and that your merits are worth less than the merits of others. As a brand-new grad student, this is a syndrome that I battle against. One of the reasons for my struggle with this symptom is somewhat obvious: I attend an art school, and the truth of the matter is that my poetry is neither trendy, controversial, or experimental, and neither is my fashion sense, for the most part. Columbia College Chicago has often prided itself on a well-rounded cohort—and it’s true that we have a depth and breadth of styles represented by the lot of us—but I often can’t get rid of the lingering feeling that there are a litany of things that separate me from everyone else, that force me to not belong, like we’re in middle school and I just hit my gangly-kneed growth spurt. Again.

Gillian Douple Introduction (Columbia College Chicago ’16)

The chronic bad dreams started when I was 17. They continued for the next seven years all the way to last night, where I had a dream that two of my family members died on the Fourth of July. During my years as an undergrad, I had much of what my father calls “exam dreams”—that is, the genre of dreams where you suddenly are forced to take a huge, future-determining examination you haven’t studied for (and maybe you’re naked, too, just to spice things up). During my volunteer year at a soup kitchen, some mornings I would wake up with bad dreams blending with the calling of the homeless three floors beneath my window, which had me wondering what was actually real and what was a dream. And while working and traveling through Europe, whether sleeping on some stranger’s floor, in a hostel, or in my tiny caravan, I would get complaints that I kept talking in my sleep. The dreams were just as bad as ever, and they ranged from me bleeding out pounds …