It's been a long time since you played osu!, specifically osu!mania. You're procrastinating right now with your studies because you're afraid of not matching up to your own expectations. You're afraid of making mistakes.

You remember that you used to be bad at osu!mania. You remember that you used to be bad at a lot of things. But you also remember that you got better at osu!mania because you kept playing it. You remember that you got better at a lot of things because you kept doing them.

You were bad at math. You were bad at public speaking. You were bad at programming. Yet, you got better at them because you kept doing them. You can do mental arithmetic now quite well so much so that you're using a math captcha to prevent yourself from snoozing your alarm. You can speak in front of a crowd now and even did a 60-second pitch in a worldwide startup competition in Bangkok. You can write code now, build data dashboards with it, and even won a hackathon in a team of 4. What's stopping you from getting better at your studies!?

Now's not the time to be afraid of making mistakes. Now's the time to experiment and find out why these subjects are interesting. Surely, there's a reason why the giants before you have spent their lives studying these subjects.

You're not going to be perfect at it the first time. You realize that with osu!mania. You realize that with math. You realize that with public speaking. You realize that with programming. You realize that with what you've done so far. You can achieve 80% of the results with 20% of the effort. Sure you're not yet at the top of the world in any of these fields. But you're doing well if you put your mind to it. It just takes time.

But you also hate that it takes time! Why can't the process provide immediate feedback? Why are things so dreadful at the start? So boring at the start?

You wish you could just turn on autopilot and skip to the part where you're good at it. But you know that's not how it works. You know that you have to put in the work.

It took you four years for you to win a hackathon from the first time you wrote code. It took you six years for you to stand on the world stage for public speaking from the first time you spoke in front of a crowd. It took you seven years to get good at osu!mania and reach at one point top 22000 in the world. It took you the rest of your elementary and high school life to even get good at math and appreciate Calculus.

Why not figure out why chemical engineering is interesting? Why not figure out why physics is interesting? Why not figure out why chemistry is interesting?

You're not going to be perfect at it the first time. You're not going to be perfect at it the second time. You're not going to be perfect at it the third time. But you're going to get better at it. And you know that because you've done it before. And you're going to do it again. And you have something to show for it.

You're an impostor but a good one. You learn from seeing what others do. You learn from doing what others do and improving upon it. You learn from experimenting and finding out what works and what doesn't. And you finally get that breakthrough to achieve what you were aiming for.

You're not patronizing yourself. You're just reminding yourself that you've done it before. You're just reminding yourself that you can do it again. After all, you keep forgetting and letting your impostor syndrome take over.1 This time, it's just a different field. This time, it's just a different challenge. This time, it's a new game to play.

Why not play it? And beat it.

1

Honestly, you keep forgetting that it's not really about what value you have as a person. What only matters to you is if what you're doing is interesting.