Earlier this week my friend sent a simple request in our only girl's group chat. She asked for each of us to list our majors and/or minors and why we chose them. As I was reading all of my best friends' dreams and ambitions I noticed how extraordinary the women I interacted with every day were. Not just my friends from home, but my roommate, the girls in my department, and the upperclassmen I've worked with. During Women's History Month, it's important to recognize how so many women around you are working harder and harder every day to make their goals a reality.
One of my best friends in high school started a feminist club at the start of our junior year. She created a space where we could talk about issues we faced whether it be in school, at home, or things going on in the world. She was able to organize several walkouts, protests, and awareness-raising campaigns. She now is in a unique, combined major at American University that includes communications, law, economics, and government. She is the kind of person who demands respect and earns it within seconds of meeting her. She volunteers on political campaigns and attends protests as well as congressional sessions and hearings. Her activism is so genuine and admirable and I know one day I will be watching her run her own campaign.
The Vice President of the same feminism club in high school is working towards a degree in television and radio studies to eventually write for tv shows and movies. Other members of our small feminist organization are majoring in communication studies, psychology, environmental studies, neuroscience, chemistry, political science, art history and even product design at Parsons. I know women who want to improve national environmental sustainability or who want to create innovative and sustainable products. I have friends who want to be surgeons or engineers and a friend who wants to catalog art for libraries in Washington in order to feed her love for art and to make a difference politically.
I myself am a part of a dance department surrounded by powerful female figures. My classmates are from all over the world and most of them have lived away from home for many years already to pursue their dance careers. I know girls who lived in Russia for a year to train and watching them go after their dreams every day is nothing short of motivating and inspiring. The upperclassmen in our department have second majors and take a ridiculous amount of credit hours all while looking beautiful on stage. Their grace and athleticism remind me of all that women are capable of. My female professors have had astonishing careers in the dance world and have a presence that changes the air of a room. They push us hard and always remind us how willing they are to help with anything their students could need.
It is, of course, important to find positive female role models in the public sphere and in media, but it is almost more important to find role models within your own life. I guarantee the women around you are working towards some pretty great things, you just need to stop and take notice of it. Let your female peers motivate you to be better and let them serve as a reminder of how much women's movements are constantly progressing.