A STEM Influencer? - A Saga on Finding Purpose
I believe it's about time we address the elephant in the room. Many of you have asked, and even more of you have pointed it out in not very hidden ways. Why is this blog important? Why am I posting awkward TikToks about space tips and seemingly not so funny videos?
To explain this, I must first tell you a story. A few months ago, right before launching this blog, I gave a speech to a group of retired scientists. In my slides, I was also mentioning how a potential Ph.D., a potential blog, and so on was maybe in my future. Along these, I also put "STEM Influencer?". Later, they asked me, what being a Science Influencer meant to me. They were generally in their 70s and 80s, and they told me how they have seen so-called Influencers, but wanted to hear what my take on it was. I found the question quite interesting, as I never thought about what all of this would mean to me.
I have felt out of place when it came to today's general Influencers, I didn't really understand the TikTok dancing world or many of the others. However, when asked this question I thought of the amazing women and men that I followed on social media. Those who debunked fake science, those who talked about the importance of a given rocket launch, and maybe even danced a little while giving some useful tips about resumes, etc. It felt like a different world to me, somewhere where I felt happy.
That's how I formulated my answer to them too. I told them how this word meant doing something where I was able to make others feel less lonely on their path. When I began my journey in STEM and even today I often feel out of place, and lonely. A Hungarian woman studying aerospace engineering in the United States. I have never met anyone like me. However, I wanted to create a place where others like me could find a home. Of course, I don't think everyone should be an aerospace engineer, or even pursue a path in STEM. But I do think everyone should be told of it as an option because I wasn't.
So I told them how doing this was kind of like what I felt my purpose was. I love raising awareness on STEM topics. I love talking about space, and aero things. I love talking about my experiences, research, and so on! Let's be honest, even if it's one person who reads these posts. It makes me happy!
This question lead me to launch the blog. I started working on this blog in September, but answering this question fueled me to understand what all of this would mean to me. I no more cared how those who knew me would react. I knew it would be a topic of conversation, and that I would be asked about it often. However, I realized it was all about how it made me happy.
Doing this, makes me feel like Im doing something. Sure, this blog won't change the world, or frankly even anyone's lives. But maybe those few who would happen upon it will learn something from it. Even if it's just knowing that someone out there like them is doing this.
And quite frankly, it seems to have worked! Within a week, I started getting DMs on Instagram, messages on the blog, and so much more! From a young girl telling me how she was about to study engineering in the US, and how my blog made her feel she was able to do it. To University students asking me for tips on how to pursue aerospace. To a dozen questions, messages from guys and girls alike every day. I truly feel that I have found my purpose. Sitting in my room every Saturday and writing these posts, and recording little videos every Sunday, has given me so much happiness. Because even if it's just one girl who will leave this blog feeling like she could do anything she was never told about, I have succeeded.
To answer the question. I do this because it makes me happy and because it feels I have found my purpose. You don't have to like it. Let's be honest even I find making these videos awkward sometimes. And sure, I can get overly passionate and write posts that are all over the place (like this one). But at least Im living my life doing things that make me happy at the moment. I might not be doing this in a year or 2 or 10. Who knows?
But I know I will keep doing this until it makes me happy. You don't have to understand my social media or this whole STEM Influencer thing. This is for me, and it doesn't have to be something for you. Just do things that make you happy in life, that's all that really matters!