I'm over half-way done with year 24 of my life. It has been a rollercoaster of a ride thus far, and I still have a few months more to go! With that in mind, I decided to reach out to twenty four of my favourite women in my life and see what they wish they knew at this age (with some having this season of their life waaaay in the rearview mirror and some still living it). Here's what they had to say...
Ever since I could remember, the 'running joke' in my family was that I would be the first to get their doctorate of philosophy (PhD). It's a 'joke' because my grandfather would rib my mother's side in that she didn't complete hers. I talk about it a little bit in this earlier post (What Waiting Has Taught Me...).
And that drove me through the hard Calculus classes, the impossible Organic Chemistry (I failed the first time around), and the super hard year of MSc. When people asked me what I was doing with my life, I would proudly say I was hoping to get my PhD in Marine Biology. All the marine biology jobs I was interested in said, “PhD required, PhD required, PhD required, PhD required, MS required, PhD required.” I got the point. "A PhD is a basic requirement for a career in academia." A statement of truth-- and I listened to that for a while, until I declared I did not want a career in just academia (no offense to those who have decided to pursue that path). So then another statement popped into my head to replace the old mantra: "A PhD is what makes you a scientist."
That statement started feeling wrong as my science communication took off after my TEDx talk (read about my TEDx experience here) and even before then when I was doing it with The Fins United Initiative and seeing it all around me. I was still a scientist, just not in the traditional sense of a white lab coat, goggles, and scalpel. And it was the mantra that punched me across the face when I got the result of my first article publication put up for review: rejection.
Hi! I'm Melissa, an Australian-based Latina science educator, podcaster, and freelance writer. I spend a lot more time on Instagram and Twitter, but blogging is my first love. Thanks for stopping by — I hope you stay a while.
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