It takes a lot of strength and courage to follow your heart and do something you truly believe in. Since I have entered the sciences I have gone through this enormous emotional struggle of never feeling good enough, or always feeling the need to prove myself to be accepted. I strongly believed the reason I felt like I didn’t belong was because of the large cultural difference of entering the sciences from the arts. But as time passed, I kept finding myself go through these emotional roller-coasters. It became harder to be in the sciences, than to study the sciences. After a lot of soul searching I finally decided to follow my heart and study want I love. I was even prepared for the academic challenges that lay ahead, but never did I expect to get so close to my breaking point as a result of not feeling good enough to be a part of this world regardless of how hard I tried.
At a Women in STEM event at York University I had the wonderful opportunity of hearing these amazing stories, of women going through their academic careers with the very same struggles. As each woman shared her experience, I not only grew confident but for the first time ever I felt like I belonged in the sciences. I have accomplished so much since I’ve entered this field, and I absolutely love what I am studying but more importantly I am good at my research. I enjoy the science outreach I’m involved in and I can’t see myself do anything other than what I am doing now. I looked around the room and I was proud of every single person sitting in that lecture hall, for what they had overcome to be where they are now. I realize it won’t get easier, but thanks to those amazing women I now know that I can be successful in science as long as I keep believing in myself and working hard.
If you know someone going through something like this, support them. Because more often than not, that is all they’ll need. And if you are someone experiencing this, know that you are not alone and never let anyone make you feel like you can’t accomplish what you started.
Happy International Women’s day to all the beautiful women in the world working to make it a better place one step at a time.