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  • Writer's pictureLauren

COMM Girl, STEM World


The look is mixed with bemusement and ridicule. It is a look that conveys disbelief and disappoint all in one. It is a look that at once received deflates one confidence but also motivates one to do better. The look says, "You'll never make it. You'll never be successful"

Eyes widened, lips curled up into a cross between a cruel smile and a grimace. I don't need to hear the words anymore, I already know them, I've heard them too many times. I've heard them from, family, teachers, even my friends. The people who are supposed to believe in me and support me.

"What are you going to do with a degree in that?"

"The real money's in S.T.E.M."

"Do you want to be poor?"

I want to tell stories. Not stories in the traditional, once upon a time sense, because stories are not always how we conventionally see them. Yes, there are literal stories in the news, on blogs, on television. But, there are also the messages we don't always see as stories but influence just as much but more lowkey, advertisements and marketing, press releases, and even social media are stories. And I, as a communications major, want to do a mix between the two. I want to be one of the people that control's these stories, that controls the messages of these stories. Far too often I think people who look like me, black people, don't get to control their own story, especially when it comes to them, whether they be an athlete, a victim, a suspect, or just a spectator. I want to hear the stories that no one else stopped to see, the stories of brown girls and boys, men and women, who for so long have been ignored by the conventional media. I can't find these stories, don't hear them in my everyday life, so I have to create them myself.

Look around you, there are so many stories being told, messages being sown, everywhere we go. So yes, I want to write stories. I want to write my story. I want to write your story, and the stories of those whose voices have systematically taken a back seat. I want to write something that makes people stop and take a second glance at what's around them, take another glance at what they believe to be true, and want to move them to take a stand.

Some people are blessed with a mind that does calculations and calculus, and don't get me wrong, I'm not bad at math or science, but it's not my passion. Believe it or not I was blessed too, with a mind that sees people and their worth and with a mind that wants to hear the unspoken. Some people say that the humanities are dying. But to me the humanities is more important than ever. It connects people living in world that, despite all these paths of communication is pretty disconnected. Being able to reach not just one type of person but many, with a single message is a pretty powerful skill.

The face you make at me when you tell me that there's no money in my major, in my future career choice, doesn't deter me anymore. But, if I am being honest, for a long while it did. It would make me question what I wanted to do in the future, would make me think of ways to pair what I was truly passionate about with something "practical". For so long I felt like I've had to apologize for my interests, for being one of the few in my family not to pursue S.T.E.M and for not pushing myself harder to be amazing at the subjects in a field I am not too interested in I've realized that I can't live my life for others, I have to follow what I am interested in and make myself happy. Everybody has dreams and has the right to chase them but in order to really chase them you can't let others hold you back or tell you what your dreams should be.

So, your look doesn't deter me anymore. I have gotten into some of the best schools for media and communications in the country, so you can't tell me that maybe I'm not smart enough anymore. I've written articles that have helped start a conversations that will impact future change, so you can't tell me that I don't have what it takes anymore or that I don't have the eyes for it, or the right voice. Your look, with your lips curled and your eyes widened. It doesn't make me question anymore. It doesn't make me want to change who I am and what I am good at. It just makes me smile. And makes me all the more determined to tell those stories and this, this, is the start of the story I want to tell.

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