“What do you want to be when you’re older?” is a question that is asked to almost every child. From a doctor to an engineer, the career options that we have are countless. One field in particular that I decided upon studying is Computer Science. This field is innovative and challenging, but let me share what it is actually like being a girl who studies Computer Science.
1. At First, a Little Intimidating
When I first began university, I immediately noticed that pretty much all my classes were filled with guys. The number of females in this field are surprisingly low, and for me, this was a little intimidating. It almost felt like everyone in the class was smarter than me, but I believed in myself, and then that feeling disappeared. I realized one thing: that guys in Computer Science are really not scary, in fact almost all of them try to help you along the way.
2. Finding your Girl Group
A piece of advice for girls entering this field: find your girl group. This was one tip given to me that helped me in so many ways. For one, it is comforting to have girlfriends that support you. On my first day, I made friends with girls in my program and to this day, we still work on projects together and occasionally pig out on Chinese food. Of course, don’t limit yourself to only making friends with girls, make friends with everyone you meet! These people that you make friendships with in college can help you work towards your goals. Treasure them.
3. Do Not Be Afraid to Show Off Your Skills
To be honest, this one actually took me some time to be fully comfortable with. It can be hard to show people the things you can do with your knowledge of technology. But it is important to believe in one person who can change that: yourself. Remember that being a girl who studies Computer Science does not make you a minority, show off the things you have learned with confidence, it will pay off and people will notice. From my own experience, I learned that sometimes you need to be a little uncomfortable to take the next step in your career.
4. Chasing Your Goals
One thing I have learned from studying Computer Science is that it does not matter if you are a girl or a guy, what matters the most is doing something that you love. Just because you are a girl does not mean you cannot study Computer Science. You, and only you, have the power to follow your path. As long as you are doing something you enjoy, that is all that really matters in life.
The things that I have taken away from studying Computer Science as a girl has really opened my eyes on what it would be like studying in a male-dominant field. It isn’t as scary as it may seem and people really do want to help and encourage you. Choosing to study this program has given me friendships, knowledge, and memories that cannot be replaced. I am now a part of this field as a girl, and proud of it.