She writes her own story

A female's goal to pursue a career in science

Siara Kozeliski

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The hallway is long and it makes the entrance to the classroom seem small and rather narrow. Rows of chairs filed on the floor, the aridity of the air filled the room and left a choking sensation in the stemming of the lungs. Tools left scattered from the previous class. Before the eyes can fully scan the room, eyes pierce through the very being of you in all shades: brown, hazel, green, and blue. And then you realize the reason why; you’re the only female in there. You take the seat in the back. You’re already questioning your choice of engineering. Words began to flood your head, while others exclaim, “Wow, there’s a girl!” The creation of complete isolation of the group. The insipidity begins to burn more and no amount of analyzing is helping. The only female cannot comprehend the pure allure that engulfs her very being. She is more than a mere female. She is a compelling source of determination. She is a marvelous entity.
Gender norms weren’t in any part of my mind. I first wanted to be an architect because I was infatuated with building but then I wanted to be a mechanic (mostly from kindergarten until second grade). By fourth grade, I decided that a chemical engineer was what suited me most. Every time I mentioned it, I was often looked at with a head tilt and pout followed by, “Why don’t you pursue something in fashion? No girl wants to be an engineer”. But that just fueled my fire of motivation and I was more determined than ever. The pure fascination combined with the ignorance of the world around me would send me on the path less traveled.
I carry my aspirations in a well bounded suitcase resistant to chipping. I grew up in a huge family yet I was the only grandchild in my age group. I forged my own interests without the appeal of my peers. I loved everything, including learning. I knew my alphabet, each sound, and how to write and even spell some words before I reached the age of three. I was obsessed with everything under the sun, vying for more knowledge. I never went to preschool and rarely interacted with children my age until I was in kindergarten. Although, by the time I reached eighth grade, I had found my new interest that I still possess today. I gaze at the stars from billions of years ago wondering what’s looking back at me.
Space was different and left me dumbfounded. I reveled in pure bliss while partaking in the studying of stars. I can, and in complete honesty, listen to lectures about space for hours upon hours. Yet, every time I seem to mention it, I receive a face of disgust. But, like always, I kept pursuing what I love because I’ll be damned if I’m confined to the “role” of a woman. This revelation led me to pursue a job as an aerospace engineer. I decided to keep the engineer title because I felt that it had been a part of me for so long. My freshman year made me feel compelled to enroll in Intro to Engineering Design. I was in for a shock even as I continued this class for another year. My class had a complete inadequacy of girls. It shouldn’t have been shocking to me yet it was. I was never expected to comprehend anything in that class unless I was approached by another girl. I shouldn’t have to feel uncomfortable in my own field of work.
I dropped aerospace engineering from my list of future jobs and aspirations. Not just because of the male dominated field itself, I just didn’t particularly like that class and part of that was the atmosphere. I got over that, though. Instead, I decided that I was best suited as being an astronomer or astrophysicist. I have been planning and studying for my whole high school career to set me up for college to become an astronomer. I often face many oppositions telling me it’s too hard and that it’s truly a “man’s” job. My ability to achieve and excel in my study of choice is not at all related to my gender. So what not many women are scientists? I am a tree that will not waver in any strength of wind. I’m just someone who happens to be female who is also ready to take on the world. A vagabond initiating her own story.
Each generation of women continues to flourish, breaking boundaries and smashing glass ceilings. Yet, it seems as if people are still doubtful of the capability of women. Women, along with men, were destined for greatness in respect to each other. Our fight stemming from many years ago is proof of our potential. Still, our battle is not over as we continue to face many adversities. Women should be allowed and encouraged to pursue their own career path, stemming from their own interests. It’s important for us, as humans, and for all, to dismantle genders norms and the negative stereotypes that they project onto others. I also believe it’s important for women to join organizations specified for STEM or their career of choice to aid them in their journey. Women as a whole need to continue to just keep pushing through and demolishing the glass ceilings. The work field should prepare for the new age. We are the new age of women. It’s time to fight like a girl.

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