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An Opportunity to Thrive...

One of the ideas presented in module 3's blog assignment, was to talk about something regarding the program. Perhaps, a class you liked or an experience you had at Immersion. I couldn't possibly target a specific class that I liked compared to the others, I've learned far too much from each course and professor. And I'm attending Immersion this July, so that idea won't work. Instead, I want to talk about the persevering mission shared by all professors and directors of this program. This mission ensures that each student has an opportunity to thrive, and how that helped me overcome my imposter syndrome and overcome life's challenges while in the MJ-LEL program.

Throughout my life, I've suffered from imposter syndrome. My inner dialogue would be a replay of the same message, "You aren't good enough", "You aren't smart enough, why are you trying?" and "You're going to embarrass yourself." This has been something I've carried with me from adolescence to adulthood. It would often put me in a position of being a self-fulfilling prophecy till my mom would say, "Who cares? Do it anyway?" or "Give yourself a chance to prove yourself wrong." I feel that my fear of failure kept me from selecting a grad program for years. However, when I saw the TU MJ-LEL program advertisements and curriculum, something came over me and I heard my mom's voice say, "Do it... prove yourself wrong." I started the program overwhelmed and was afraid I waited too long to return to school. Within the first two semesters of the program, I lost my grandfather who helped raise me, and had gotten COVID, twice. By the third semester, I started a brand-new job and then lost my father. Life gave me every opportunity to give up; however, the professors wouldn't me. I have received votes of confidence and support from each and every single professor I've had. They've been uplifting, patient, and gracious, giving me every opportunity to succeed. I haven't had a choice but to keep going. Their faith in me and my academic career with Tulane has made all the difference in the world.

I no longer work under the self-imposed guise of being an "imposter." I walk into rooms knowing that I deserve to be there. I have not cowered in moments of stress or second-guessed my abilities. If I don't know an answer, I see it as an opportunity to research the question... to learn more. And, I have extended this experience to how I mentor others in my personal and professional relationships. I'd like to believe that I allow others to show up how they are, and I will meet them right there. And that is a testament to Tulane University's MJ-LEL program, and how it afforded me every opportunity to thrive.

An Opportunity to Thrive... © 2023 by Leann Coley is licensed under CC BY-ND 4.0

Credit Photo: @toyoufromsteph

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