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I am not a failure

I recently discovered a few volunteer opportunities on LinkedIn. They were through an up called Catch a Fire. The reason why I like this service so much is because they list a lot of copywriting opportunities. I’m trying to build out my portfolio while I look for work. I also found a lot of social media management requests and ultimately that is the one that I applied for.

I was trying to avoid taking on another community management job. I’m burned out from the moderation that I was doing at The Social Element. There were times when we were inundated with racist and transphobic comments that really got to me. It is hard working in such a negative environment. I could not pass up on this organisation though.

The role that I ultimately found is with THRIVE; they are a crisis line for marginalized groups in STEMM. It is the support that I wish that I had in physics.

I did not fail out of physics.

The system failed me.

The issues in STEMM fields are systemic. I know this from talking to other people. I no longer bear the shame of failing out because I understand that there was a greater dynamic going on. I was alone and isolated from my peers. I was not offered support when I discussed my troubles with the department and no real effort was made for retention. This was coupled with a lack of support from my family who did not approve of my choice to go into physics.

it was clear looking at the statistics from THRIVE that things are exponentially worse for others. Some who are the only person in their program like them. They are facing many complex factors that can interfere with their progress. I want to lend all my support to people in these marginalized groups because I’m part of them too. I went through this once and I didn’t make it. I didn’t have the same experiences but I do know the loneliness and doubt.

Over this weekend, I’m going to be planning and creating THRIVE’s Facebook presence. I hope that I can create a welcoming safe space for others. If you want to know, I am a non-binary asexual mathematics undergraduate with a mood disorder.

Featured Image by Anna Shvets from Pexels