You are not an impostor and you are not alone. This, despite any feelings or supposed evidence you may have to the contrary.

I wish someone had shared this with me before I started graduate school. I wish it had been the hook of a song I was required to sing each morning upon waking. I wish I had repeated it, hand over heart, at the beginning of each class period; a pledge and a reminder.

As it was, I didn’t figure these things out until quite near the end of it all, after many days (years) of wondering what the hell I was doing there. Really.

A former student of mine solicited advice on finishing up away from peers and profs. It’s a good question. There’s enough isolation during the process when you’re surrounded by support; never mind away, with a new job to boot. Vulnerability is not easy among strangers, especially in a professional setting. And there’s something to be said about the implied distance within virtual spaces.

I’ve developed a response, but I’m going to let it marinate overnight.

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