The right to vote. The right for equal employment. The right to enlist in the U.S. military. These are just a few of the stepping stones in history that have lead up to today. October of 2016. Women are being paid competitive wages, preparing to vote in the upcoming election, making a difference in the world. But we’re not stopping there. Plus-sized models are on their way to being featured for their beauty, poise, and grace, women are judges, lawyers, doctors, CEO’s, and so much more.
That being considered, being a teenage girl in 2016 is a bit different. You're trying to figure out who you are and who you want to be. Here's a bit of an insight into the life of a girl in 2016.
Every weekday morning, I wake up at 7 o’clock so I can go to school. Once there, I'm bombarded by obnoxious, screaming teenagers, a group of people throwing things as hard as they can at the wall near the entrance of the school, and disapproving campus staff. After my first period English class, I go to my Automotive Technology class, where we watch Top Gear and learn the basics on how to take care of a car. Afterwards, I go to a Manufacturing class, where I design objects to be 3-D printed, or make a flat pattern to cut out of metal. From there, I head to Kinesiology, a science class based on the principles and necessities of treating the injuries of athletes. In all of these classes, I am just another student, another classmate, someone there to learn. I don't stand out because of my gender. We all wait impatiently for Friday, we all groan when there is an exam. I'm not treated any differently than my classmates. But I am different.
I like to wear skirts. Sometimes, I ditch the sweatpants and baggy tees for a pair of jeans and a flowing top. I'll curl my hair and do my makeup instead of my standard ponytail and #nofilter look. I am a girl. I am proud of being feminine. But sometimes, I'll wear leggings or a tight shirt and I'll be aware of the judgemental gazes. But this is how being a girl in 2016 differs from previous years; I don’t care.
In a year, I am going to be going to school for computer sciences and engineering. I can wear what I choose to wear, and I can do whatever I want. There are always going to people who try to hold you back, as a girl, as a boy, as someone who’s younger. There will always be people who disapprove, but as a girl in 2016, one of our greatest gifts is that of knowledge, knowledge that we really can achieve anything. That our gender, or those who put us down doesn't determine what we can or can't do. Only we can do that. People can only put you down if you let them. So let this be a message not only to girls everywhere, but to everyone. Don't ever let anyone tell you what you can or can't do. You are in charge of your own life. You don't have to adhere to a stereotype because it's what is expected of you. Make your own destiny.