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Take the Road Less Traveled

I had entered college thinking I was too old to do anything really technical so I decided to major in math education with the goal of teaching high school. I figured out I wasn’t as old as I thought when it came to math and getting a teaching job wouldn’t pay the bills nor did the system want to hire a life long homeschooler.

So that fall I took a computer programming course and a physics course. I fell in love with physics. It was the perfect combination for me of the mechanics and math. After one more semester I decided to major in it because I could get a job with only a bachelor’s in physics where I couldn’t with only a bachelor’s in math.

That summer Jocelyn started to college as an early scholar at fifteen. By the fall she was driving me to class to learn how to drive, not to mention I was always sleepy. I averaged working forty-eight hours a week plus full time school. I started every semester warning professors that I would fall asleep in class. I fell out of my desk from falling asleep. I stayed in a permanent state of exhaustion, but I was going to graduate or die trying.

The head of the math dept. asked me if I was crazy or trying to kill myself. One of the physics professors told me I was audacious and gave me a D in his class because I was a woman. One of the companies I interviewed with told me point blank there was no way I could work an internship and go to school.

I figured they didn’t know me so I never even recognized their comments or actions as obstacles. I feel like this has been done before so why can’t I do it too.

Most things have been done before. People graduate all the time with physics degrees. Not many, but it can be done. I sometimes wonder if there’s anything really new in this world or if we are just reinventing the wheel.
Sometimes people think they are doing you a favor by encouraging you to take the easy way out. Don’t do it. Take the road less traveled. I have heard it said time after time in panels of famous scientists that getting out of their comfort zone made them better scientists. I encourage you to not be afraid to just go for it. Take the road less traveled. 

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