How do you conquer the feeling of not being enough? Of feeling like you need another degree to make yourself feel valid? And how do I convince others that I am more than qualified? The ugliness of insecurities.
The idea of getting another master’s degree or pursuing my PhD has been rattling in my brain since graduation; May 2017. That’s right, withdrawal symptoms from education started as soon as I crossed that stage and I do not know how to brush it off. I work in a higher education institution, so getting another degree is a force of habit; for those that can afford it or stay long enough for those beautiful benefits.
The idea of being hyperdocumented popped in my head when Dra. Aurora Change from Loyola University introduced the notion at a higher education conference last year. Since then, I cannot stop thinking about how we, minorities, get into this whole mentality that in order to compensate for this supposed lack of credibility, we create the need to get many degrees. It’s a true phenomenon, especially for those who are undocumented and seeking validation. My own mentor has one bachelors, three masters and just started his PhD program. Despite all of this, according to The World University Rankings, last year, “Latinos were 26 percentage points behind whites and 21 percentage points behind blacks in postsecondary attainment, compared with 23 percentage points and 10 percentage points respectively in 1992”.
We are still lagging behing many but of those who have been fortunate to matriculate and complete, find the need for more. Thinking about going back to school is definitely giving me anxiety. The whole, “do it for your community…your parents didnt come to this country for nothing” keeps going on in my mind. However, I have always dreamt of matriculation, despite the immense pressure I put myself under, at a prestigious school because I crave for a challenge, but dammit this is a hurdle I don’t know how to get over. I dont know if im good enough. Of course if I never try, ill never know.
Part of me wants to just stop and not give into the idea that my credibility not only lies on a mere paper but on my experience. In the end its up to me to decide. I have to study my butt off for the GRE and I have to apply myself and want it. I need to either do it or let it go, but when will that happen?
I’m ready for the journey. In the words of Bo Bennett, “the discipline you learn and character you build from setting and achieving a goal can be more valuable than the achievement of the goal itself”. Bring it on insecurities. Lets see what you got.