I am so happy that my blog has gotten such a positive response thus far! Thank you everyone for your support. I initially started my blog with the intention of posting every week, however after I realized how long one post took me, between writing, editing, and taking photos, and managing school work, I realized that it was not likely to happen. My next goal was to post every two weeks, however too often life just got in the way. But now that the semester is winding down and the start of the summer is here I hope to maintain a consistent posting schedule. I already have many ideas for topics I want to discuss, so get ready for an exciting blog filled summer!
I did want to write a quick blog post this week to give you a bit of a life update and to talk about a topic that I have become very passionate about.
I used to love playing with Barbie’s, I absolutely adored it! I used to dress them up and even get my grandma to make them outfits based on my designs. You could say this is where I found my love for fashion. You probably wouldn’t expect a little girl like that to end up some 20 years later as an engineer working towards her doctorate degree. But here I am. Part of that could possibly be explained by the fact that both my parents are engineers and it’s in my DNA, or that I decided art school was not for me. But I think part of it was rooted back when I was a kid. Not only did I play with Barbie dolls but I also played with an elaborate chemistry kit and Legos when I was little. I can remember that science kit like it was yesterday, I had over 100 tiny bottles of different chemicals, a 96-well plate, and tiny pipettes. I will admit that I did not take advantage of that kit as much as I should have, but it is funny to think now that I still play with chemicals to this day in the lab.
The point is that I grew to love science and even all though high school I competed in science fair competitions. I even won some prizes at the science fair! However, the science fair tradition did not end in high school. Recently, I presented a poster at my school’s graduate symposium with over 90 other students. It was a great way of getting practice presenting, especially presenting to an audience that is not well versed on my research area. It was also interesting because there were other students from different departments across the school and it was a good opportunity to learn about what people are studying in other fields. I would definitely recommend anyone doing some sort of research to participate by presenting and if not, at least attend your school’s graduate poster sessions.
I am not going to lie, I was a little nervous presenting my poster to the judges and was worried that I did not answer the questions correctly. At the end of the day, they gathered everyone up and called out the winner. I was both surprised and confused when my name was called for second place! Guess I did something right. What I take away from these situations is that one, you need to take advantage of opportunities to advance and better yourself and two, hard work pays off. Sure, this was not the Nobel prize, but it still helped validate that I was working towards the right directions and improved my confidence in presentation skills.
At the end of the day, I truly believe that you can be a strong, confident, and beautiful woman who is both a scientist and a lover of fashion. Kids don’t have to like just Barbie dolls or science kits, they can love both. I do not have to give up my femininity and creativity to be successful because it is the norm. If I have to stand out for that reason, so be it. I will still succeed in my own way and I empower you to do the same.