Updated: Jan 11
When is the work ever done as a woman of color? You've gone to school to pursue higher education, gotten a better job or maybe even your dream job, but it's still not enough.
As a woman of color, I have noticed Women of Color killing it!!!! That feels good. Most times we pursue higher education as a desire to have opportunities better than our family, to introduce better for our children, and our communities. Pursuing education as a Woman of Color is no punk. There are challenges that we experience that only we can attest to. I recall my first year of my graduate program being informed by other people of color ahead of me, that Women of Color had the lowest retention rate in the program. I immediately wondered why. As I matriculated throughout the program I quickly understood:
1. Higher education is not always cost effective. Yes, there are scholarships, but that requires time and effort that take away from current studies.
2. Graduate school can be very rigorous impacting your physical/mental health.
3. It is a process that teaches you about yourself and opens your eyes to those around you (family, friends, significant others). Those closest to us don't always understand our struggles/priorities.
4. Many of us didn't get to where we are for no reason. We are strong foundations in our families or our family is our backbone. If we are needed, everything around us STOPS, including chasing our dreams.
These are a few challenges to name. Not to mention, many of the programs we have pursued or are interested in require some sort of test to examine our competency that most times aren't the norm for us. If you're like me, have been in your field for some time and have taken the test multiple times just for someone to confirm that you can do what you've been doing, you probably HELLA feel this!
I say all of this to say...we've worked to hard to stop. Feel free to take a break. Think outside of the box. A lot of times our careers try to box us in Some of us May have thought we arrived because we pursued higher education and the work was done. If there are other things you have interests in that have been put on the back burner, go get it! What are you waiting on? What's next for you?