I’m just a girl in a world (midterm season).

Valentine’s Season has come and gone. But as college students, we needn’t worry. Because almost simultaneously, in the midst of it all, and without the opportunity to process it, Midterm Season has begun. Inaccurate name aside (as someone who took a “midterm” a month into the semester), this era is notorious for not being a fan favorite as it tests us in more ways than one.

I, like many, have already been claimed as a victim. I’ve laid on the floor with my friends, contemplating all the decisions we’ve made that have led us here. I’ve spent hours in the library regretting not having built good study habits in high school. I’ve exhausted the ears of TAs, the comfort of my Spotify playlists, and the reassurance of fellow students (side-chat users) going through the same thing. But during these trying times, I would like to recognize the strongest soldiers I know: my SEAS girlies, Barnard Baddies, and all Women In STEM <3.

At times like these, numbers can be all-consuming for many reasons: the number of women in STEM compared to men, the mean test score in your class, or the correct answer to a complicated math problem.

But no number can capture the solidarity felt when finding a fellow gal struggling through data structures, organic chemistry, multivariable calculus, or any physics class in existence (just to name a few).

The comfort I have found in witnessing the rise of pink calculators, women-based STEM clubs, ribbon-covered page titles, and the sound of heels fast approaching a classroom is unparalleled. The only feeling that compares is that of seeing women face the opposite side of the spectrum with their cup of coffee in one hand, tote bag falling off the shoulder, and an “I just got out of bed and I’m late to class” vibe that is all too relatable.

It is from experience that I know the line between these two is blurry and fine. And the effects midterms have on everyday slaying is no different. Nonetheless, we prevail. And we do so flawlessly.

Understanding this struggle has created a bond between strangers in classes, majors, and communities that I hope only strengthens in the years to come because it reminds us that we are not alone. We never were and never will be, and if we continue to power through neither will the ones that come after us. If Barbie taught us anything (shoutout to Greta), it is that “Barbie is all these women. And all these women are Barbie.”

And that is what I like to call the essence of girlhood.

I truly admire the brain and capacity of all of you, and I am amazed at what you have accomplished despite the barriers in your path.

So to all the women, immigrant daughters, and/or BIPOC in STEM, be proud of how far you have come and all that lies ahead. It will all be worth it. It is anything but easy, yet everything but impossible. I’m rooting for you; we are all rooting for you because we are all rooting for each other.

See y’all next time for finals season! (Will it ever end?!).

Worst case scenario: Listen to Mitski, eat ice cream, and rewatch your childhood shows. (Disclaimer: I am not a professional therapist. I’m just a girl :).

Women via Bwog Archives.