Who’s that syndrome? Not the imposter.

By Paul Martorelli, English and Multimedia Journalism Major, D.U. Quark Intern

The biggest thing that the younger generation is facing as they enter the job force is the dreaded Imposter Syndrome.

I don’t have any empirical data for this, but this is my blog space so just bear with me.

The Gen Z population (which is what I and my colleagues are considered) grew up in the aftermath of 9/11. Even the oldest of us “Zoomers” were just entering the first grade. The destruction of the World Trade Center shook the global economy. A lot of us don’t remember the world before fear had planted itself firmly in the hive mind that is American culture.

Most of us were in middle school when the 2008 financial crisis hit. We were too young to understand what a recession meant, but I’m sure that we at least felt the financial ruins reverberate through our families, our friends and our communities.

The world seemed to balance out a little bit after that. Sure, things still weren’t the same, but we didn’t know the difference and things had fallen into the groove of a new normal. Then came March 2020.

Last year was the year I was supposed to graduate. Some time mismanagement on my end and a few un-fortuitous class cancellations brought me to being a fifth-year senior. At first, I was jealous of my friends who were graduating and entering real life, but then the pandemic came into our world and caused financial havoc the likes of which were never before seen in modern times. Joblessness was at an all-time high and even now, a year later, things aren’t the same.

 What does this all mean? Why am I bringing this all up? Well, I guess I’m just trying to give a little bit of perspective as to how weird it is being us. The generations before us generally grew up in a bountiful world that showed no ends to the fruits it beared. We grew up in a bountiful world as well, but the end always seemed in sight. The looming threat of collapse was always on the outskirts of our view, and with each developmental stage its visage become clearer.

I think our generation has and will continue to have a weird relationship with jobs. In our lifetimes, jobs have become a commodity. So how is it that we can, in good faith, chase after those jobs? Most of the open positions in the various industries in which we hope to work require no less than three years of experience, in my searches I have yet to find a job outside of retail or fast food that was truly an “entry level” position. It is at this point that Imposter Syndrome sets.

So I’m glad for the opportunity to be able to write and produce Quarky for the D.U. Quark. There that’s where this was all heading.

Being able to actually have a piece of content, on Spotify, that I can say I produced. That I can say I wrote. That I can say I edited. It’s a good feeling. It is proof that I’m capable, that the five years of college I’ve endured wasn’t just a fly-by half decade. It doesn’t change the fact that the future will be perilous and full of unforeseen dangers, but at least I’ll be able to more confidently get a job.


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