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From the College of Natural Sciences
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Kopp's Weekly - Doubts

Kopp's Weekly - Doubts

Everyone has some, no matter where they are in their lives.

Dear students,

Probably like a lot of us, I had a lot of doubts when I was in college. Coming from a small high school, I felt like a little fish in a big pond when I arrived as a freshman and felt that I had a lot of academic catching up to do. I remember still a conversation with a fairly accomplished junior that reframed doubt. Prepping for finals, he was in the regular habit of cataloging all the things he knew and didn't know in a course. Unlike me who was inclined to gloss over things I didn't know, he would focus most on the areas he doubted himself on, and practiced problems over and over til he felt confident. He compared doubt about academic mastery to an athlete training unmastered motor skills — less about self-criticism and more about self-improvement.

No matter what stage we are at, doubt is always with us. Early on, we may doubt if we are up to a particular task. As we are somewhat established, we start to wonder if we will be successful progressing in our career. Along the way, we may look back and ask if we made the right choices. We all have doubts; it is inherent in the process of defining our lives and discerning our calling. Go ahead and doubt; use doubt to seek counsel and advice from peers and mentors. But do so with the confidence that doubt is your inner voice trying to have a real dialog with you about life's journey.

Best wishes for the coming week,
Sacha Kopp
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
College of Natural Sciences

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Tuesday, 01 December 2020

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