It’s hard to believe that November’s almost over, but the Christmas lights and holiday jingles are here to stay until January. Whether or not you’re preparing for the freezing temperatures to come, make sure you make some time to stay inside and finish these 32 scholarships. Some of these will only take 5 minutes, and others require no U.S. citizenship status, so in addition to your holiday wish list make sure you’re also working on your to-do list!
Happy Saturday everyone and welcome to the Wavy Girls’ Guide to Research series! I’ve started this series to encourage and prepare other girls to venture into their own research project not only as an academic challenge but also as a journey of self-discovery and improvement. Research doesn’t just have to involve books and old documents- as you open your eyes to the world around you, you unconsciously discover more about yourself. I mentioned in my last blog post about traveling to Mexico this summer to conduct research on Marian Devotion in Monterrey, but I saved the best details for this series.
As a Math and Econ Major I didn’t believe I was capable of doing research at the same level as a lot of my peers; not only was I intimidated by the fact that I’ve barely touched upon these topics, I just didn’t have any confidence in my academic abilities. Research was this huge complicated and scary concept for me that I thought only grad students and scientists attempted, however this misconception was challenged after reading Umberto Eco’s How to Write a Thesis (a book that I highly recommend you read before going down the research route). Eco eloquently breaks down the steps of beginning your own study in such a simple manner that I felt motivated to take on my own research project. I started to see research as an opportunity to complement my STEM-heavy courses with a more humanities-based approach, something that ignited my interest and pushed me to learn more about doing research.
While I’ve been back in New York City for a while I’ve still been trying to put into words the experiences and memories I’ve created this summer, and I still can’t even decide where I want to begin this journey of reflection. As you may or may not know I had the privilege of spending my summer outside of the United States: I studied abroad for six weeks in Madrid and then went back home to Monterrey, Mexico for two weeks to conduct research on popular female perceptions of Our Lady of Guadalupe (and yes, there will be a blog post on doing research soon!). Madrid was beautiful and pushed me towards learning more about who I am and what I want in life, but being in Mexico was such a refreshing reminder of my roots and overall my favorite experience abroad.
I’ve said this before on here, but as someone who grew up in a low-income household I always viewed travelling as a luxury that I’d never be able to do at this age. I had to negotiate and talk to many people at NYU to get the funding for Madrid, and a lot of work was put in so that I could earn travel grants for my research in Mexico. I’m a strong believer of putting yourself out there to get what you want, and I don’t think anyone’s financial situation should prevent them from living their best life (but if you’re stuck, click here for a list of study abroad scholarships I created). To be honest with you there were moments I felt guilt, as if I wasn’t supposed to be in Europe, and it was tough having to miss out on several experiences because I could not afford them, yet being able to say I lived in Spain for a period of time is something I never imagined.
Make sure you start your fall semester right with these scholarships!
Last Minute Opportunities:
Write a short 300-400 word essay about how government surveillance on internet activity would affect us. Open for high school, undergrad, and grad students. One reward for $5,000.
Kabbage Entrepreneurs Scholarship- August 31
Write an essay of 750 words or fewer summarizing your business plan for your existing business or one you’d like to start. Open to undergrad and grad students. One reward for $1,000.
Make Me Laugh Scholarship– August 31
Describe an incident in your life that’s funny or embarrassing in 250 words or less. One reward for $1,500.
I know you procrastinate but hey, I understand! Procrastinating is something everyone falls victim to once in a while (more often than we’d like to admit), especially when temptations like Netflix exist. However, the pressure of waiting until last minute can drive you to write some of the best essays and can actually be helpful on certain occasions. While I don’t encourage procrastination if you are one of those who wait until the night something’s due then check out this list of scholarships: you have a whole week, and some of them take minutes!
After a spiritually and emotionally challenging semester I’m glad to say I’m back and ready to continue this journey that is my blog! I type this as I’m currently in Madrid currently taking study abroad courses, something that I’ve been speaking into existence since a couple of months ago and still can’t believe is actually happening. It’s already been one week and while I miss New York I’m extremely grateful for everyone who helped me get to this position: I wouldn’t be here without your help!
I haven’t had the time to update Wavy Girls as I prepared for finals and this program, but my routine has not been the same since I have not been able to share such powerful stories! I have really missed writing about strong and influential women of color and can attest to the fact that your stories add a little spring to my step. Because I love hearing about intelligent and inspirational girls and their personal experiences so much I’d like to announce a new feature that’s been added on the blog (which is slowly but surely being worked on). I’m really exited to say that you can now give a shout-out to someone in your life who you think embodies the definition of a Wavy Girl and should be spotlighted for the world to see! All you have to do is go to the Wavy Girls homepage, click on the Shoutout link on the top-right corner, and fill out the submission form. It’s really that simple to recognize someone for all the good deeds they do for their community, and I’m sure they’d appreciate the fact that their work is being noticed.
While I believe that announcement is the highlight of this blog post I’d also like to take a moment to share some of the wisdom I’ve learned and some I keep having to remind myself about every day.
1. Nourish your mind and body
While this may seem obvious I cannot stress enough how often I have to remind myself to put my physical and mental health first before anything else. Be kind to yourself and know when you need to take a break. Be comfortable with the fact that it is okay to take care of yourself first, even if that means putting an urgent task to the side for a moment. There is no single assignment, errand, or business that is more important than your well-being. You are a human, not a robot.
2. Be honest with yourself
This applies to every single facet of your life, from academia to relationships. Think hard before you take on an additional responsibility when you’re already struggling to find a balance in your life, or before you allow a toxic person back into your life. Remember the last time you made a mistake and learn from it, do not repeat it again. It will hurt but you must face the facts and be real with yourself. Will you really be happy if you do that? Do you know sometime down the road you will regret doing it?
3. Never take no for an answer
This became my new motto this semester, and living by this not only got me to Spain but it allowed me to start Ritmo at NYU (the first Latin dance team) and to get further ahead in my academics both inside and out of the classroom. There’s a saying that goes “If you want something, work for it. If you don’t get it, work harder,” and it couldn’t be any more true. Whatever it is that you’re trying to achieve, make it happen. Be consistent and talk to the right people. Talking to people is the key! If you have to persuade others to believe in your vision, sell it like you mean it.
4. … but accept when something is not for you.
I’ve talked about rejection on here before and how while it can be demoralizing it is an essential part of the process. You cannot succeed if you do not fail, but if you do not succeed that does not mean you failed. If you know you fought a good fight and tried your absolute best but were still rejected, accept the fact that it was probably not for you but know that there is something better on the horizon. Not everything is meant for you, and that’s not bad. In fact when something better comes along you’ll look back and be grateful your vision wasn’t clouded by that one rejection.
This post is all over the place, but I cannot wait to get back to sharing consistent stories and advice as I become used to this new environment in Spain. Do not forget to take a look at the new feature, and give a shout-out to someone who you know deserves it! Until next time!
Dear Younger Self,
I am not the person you wanted me to be, in fact I think in some aspects I am the complete opposite of what you envisioned. I’m not what you dreamed of, but let me tell you that you will be grateful for that and that it’s probably for the best you did not get what you wanted. You’re actually not going to get a lot of the things that you wanted but I am still here, alive and more than satisfied with the cards I’ve been dealt. You heard that right: rejection will become a huge part of your life, but you need to learn to look past it and continue with your endeavors. Rejection will not only make you a tougher person with greater aspirations and a greater drive, but it will also steer you towards the direction you’re meant to take.
I want to tell you to please be kind to yourself and realize that if you cannot accomplish everything you plan for yourself that is okay. Stop beating yourself up over situations that were out of your control. You are so forgiving with others but you need to learn how to forgive yourself. Be kind to yourself but stop over-indulging so much. You really need to stop looking at things in black and white and allow yourself to be in the middle. You really don’t realize how easier life becomes when you stop aiming for extremes.