7-18-17: Having mentors who support you means more than anything. I forwarded my article to my favorite academic adviser, the one who’s seen me through the tumultuous journey from being an intended Bioengineering major on the pre-med track to the Human Centered Design and Engineering major who’s currently working at Microsoft / starting conversations about diversity and inclusion as demonstrated values / making slide decks about key principles to consider as we move forward in projects.
My adviser said:
“Wow, thank you for sending your article, I am bursting with pride and joy for you. Your internship sounds fascinating and I hope we have some time to catch up when school resumes.
Truthful words feel authentic, thank you for sharing so much of yourself to help others. It has been and will continue to be a privilege to work with you, witness your growth, and learn from your wisdom…thank you.
Bravo, way to be amazing.”
Wow, having someone on the other side who wants to see me thrive means EVERYTHING. I feel authentic and honest about the pain and impostor syndrome, but hopeful about a future where I can believe in myself. I’m excited to be here representing people of color, and that I’m making a life that I’m proud of.
Learning to celebrate my accomplishments is challenging because, in my future, we are taught that silence is respect and that positive self-talk is nothing but self-aggrandizing. It’s hard not to internalize that. I’m slowly learning to celebrate my accomplishments and growth, which is why I write these articles – I want you to know that it’s OK to celebrate how far you’ve come, and the ways that you’ve grown since last week, let alone last month or last year. I believe in being dedicated to constant self-improvement, but it’s important to step back and remember what I’ve been able to do.
At the end of every major milestone (these days, I often use the end of an academic quarter as my marker), I think about everything that has changed: I count my losses, look over articles that I’ve written, save all the projects that I’m proud to share, write reflections for my portfolio website, and think about how I’ll do even more next time. But I’m inviting myself, and now you, to step back and see how far you’ve come.
I’m always learning to be great, to be better, to think smarter and have a greater impact. But today, I will focus on being proud.