I was very apprehensive starting in the Chemistry program at HSU. I transferred into the school from a college near my hometown in Oregon, and I didn’t know anyone here. I applied for the Humboldt Chemistry Scholarship part way through my third semester here. I felt very nervous when I applied for the Humboldt Chemistry Scholarship because I felt like there were dozens of people more qualified than me in the department. In the sciences it is very easy to feel like you are the only person who doesn’t entirely understand the material. This is called impostor syndrome.
Receiving the scholarship really boosted my confidence and helped me realize that I do belong here. It solidified that I made the right choice in transferring to HSU. This has helped me to feel more comfortable becoming more engaged in the Chemistry department and in the Humboldt community. I continued working hard and found myself applying for the position of treasurer in the Free Radicals Chemistry Club, and was again reassured in myself and my decisions for this pathway. I have become more involved with research, and have been put in charge of a segment of the research project this semester. I have even been asked to be on several panels aimed at informing freshman and sophomores on how to be successful in science fields, and I am really enjoying helping others find their passions, like I found mine.
Sometimes I still worry that I’m not smart enough or that I don’t belong here, but the biggest lesson applying for and receiving this scholarship has taught me is that as long as I continue with my dedication, ambition, and growing confidence, I am capable of achieving great things. Thank you to those who donate to scholarships and give students like myself the confidence boost we need to solidify our passions for education and make it possible to continue progressing academically.