September 21, 2018
This past weekend, 100 sophomores, including myself, were shuttled
up to Big Bear for the annual Kravis Lab Sophomore Leadership Experience (SLE)! The weekend consisted of countless cups of hot cocoa, late night swims in the lake, high ropes courses, and plenty of legendary dance battles. However, among the craziness of the weekend, we learned many important and meaningful lessons.
One of the most impactful lessons we learned is how to fight imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome describes the inability to accept your success and accomplishments due to feeling like a fraud. Even though there may be clear indicators of your competence, you will strongly believe that you somehow do not deserve the success you have earned. This phenomenon is extremely common at CMC, and this past weekend, we sophomores took steps to combat it.
We did many exercises to exemplify these efforts, and at the end of these activities, we were able to realize that we are truly not alone, and that our failures do not need to be debilitating. For instance, due to CMC’s heavy emphasis on economics, those who feel that they are not proficient in the
field can feel highly insecure. However, in exploring each other’s failures, we
realized that many people have gotten low grades in economics classes, and that this is actually very common at CMC.
Once accepting that we are not alone in our failures, we learned how to implement an action mindset. In other words, instead of dwelling on or complaining about our shortcomings, we learned to develop a plan of action to actually make a sizeable improvement in our lives. To practice this, we
identified a myriad of problems that need to be addressed at CMC, including the lack of POC professors, the lack of study spaces, and the lack of appreciation for the building attendants. We then split into groups and developed plans for how to combat these issues. After presenting our respective solutions, Kravis Lab offered to help facilitate the implementation of these solutions, so hopefully we will see real improvements on campus in the coming weeks!
All in all, SLE was an incredible experience that facilitated
risk-taking, challenging yourself, shifting to an action mindset, and thinking
boldy to strive for your biggest and most daring dreams. I hope that in the
coming weeks, the sophomore class will be able to implement the lessons we
learned, to improve our own lives, CMC, and the world as a whole!
Written by Shanil Verjee ‘21