Friday, 4 September 2015

Full Circle.

I have had an eye-opening and inspiring time taking over Twitter.*


*Taking over Sparxx Twitter account that is.

A few weeks ago, I was named the first ever STEM ambassador for a national initiative starting in the UK called Sparxx. As of 1st September, my role ended. This role gave me the privilege of being named 'Sparx of the Month' - read all about that here. Sparxx is encouraging the idea of using creative and technical skills together in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) careers. Speaking from experience, when I was told in school that I had to pick between which humanities and technical subjects I wanted to pursue at a higher level, I really avoided the choice. I avoided the choice because it did not feel right - I loved, and felt I was good at all of my subjects. Yes, some work became difficult at times, but it really developed my vigilance, diligence, and self-pride over the quality of my work and growing love for learning. I guess this is why the International Baccalaureate was so attractive to me, as I still got to do all my subjects but could decide the intellectual intensity of individual subjects. That is not to say the IB was not difficult - it bloomin' was - but the skills and intellectual growth that it gave me as a result, and preparation for University has been absolutely invaluable.

I digress, back to my point. Taking over the Sparxx Twitter account @sparxxgirls, I have had the pleasure of learning how to tweet, retweet, favourite tweets, and experiencing the thrill of attaining followers. The best thing I liked about the 'twitter takeover' was all the amazing organisations I came across. One, maybe my favourite, was Born To Engineer. The calibre of video content on their YouTube was not only inspiring but mesmerising.

George Edwards, 17-year old A-Level Student creating ingenious solutions
to pressing needs.


Pushing Boundaries - Women in Engineering; a compilation of students and engineers of various age ranges sharing how their interest for engineering began.


Andrew Robertson, showing how Software Engineering and music can go hand-in-hand.


                                         
Yusuf Muhammad, working in HMS President as a Design Engineer and a mean basketball player.

Looking at these videos made me question my life now and inspect it ever so critically. All those years when I was younger, asking my Mum, Dad, and brother why things were they way they were; 
trying to understand the environment I was born into, learning the social norms from people around me, trying to understand my sense of self. All those days when I was younger, feeling guilty that I was not as neat and uniform as other girls; that I always had that little bit of scruff about me, that one curl that would never stay in place (and still does not). All those hours grasping onto the morsel of knowledge - whether from a book, a conversation, observation, or the internet -  that ignited my imagination to study, to question, to draw, to think, to dream about the world as it could be. All those minutes of silence throughout my life of me thinking, just thinking alone, trying to figure out how to put all of my diverse skill sets, and perhaps talents, in such a way that can make the world a better place than how I entered it. Time has served me well; gaining in confidence and wisdom to understand that comparing myself to others is counter-productive. I feel perfectly content and comfortable in how I am. I have embraced my beautiful uniqueness and I always put myself in a mindset that can facilitate a natural evolution of self - both internal and external.

All of this, lead onto my story now in Engineering. The hunger of knowledge, the thirst of intellectual pursuit, the vision of better, and the touch of the tangible creation you have made (structure or written document) evidencing your work. Feelings like that confirm that you are fine where you are, you are where you are meant to be. You are happy, you are content, you feel free.

Engineering is where I need to be, otherwise, my desire to figure out how the world works - ever since I was a old enough to have awareness of my life - would be unfulfilled. From these two videos, and more that you can find on Born To Engineer's YouTube channel , you will get a sense of what passion looks like and could feel like. Whatever you choose to do in your life, whether it is to have a career or not, make sure that it makes you feel wholly alive. Make sure that you are passionate about what you are doing, because your time is precious. Never settle who you really are and the essence of your character for a means to retain a livelihood that does not inspire you. We are all worthy.
All in all, the experience of being 'Sparx of the Month' and what I have learned, has made me realise that I have come full circle.

Subscribe to Born To Engineer's YouTube channel to learn of school students and University students and academics making their mark in Engineering and love doing so. They are also have a website and are on Twitter at @born2engineer.

Follow Sparxx on Twitter at @sparxxgirls to look at my glorious tweets (mine are after 18:00 as I come home from internship work then).

Lastly, if you have not added me on Twitter yet you can now as I have a Twitter account...! As if you have not gotten bored of me already, you can follow me on Twitter at @OTakesCourage .
There you go.

Take Courage,

Olivia

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