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Lara Rosales

March 10, 2020

There are still people who believe women should not go to college. However, you have earned that spot in your class just like all your male classmates.

Not too long ago, women were not allowed to go to college; in some countries and cultures, women are still denied an education. Although nowadays it is easier for many of us to go to school and get a degree, a lot of women are judged for their decision to learn. Sometimes while sitting in class we wonder what our male classmates and professors are thinking about us. We are held to different standards and we face different struggles. However, we always persist and keep going because we know what we are worth. Here are a few things women second guess when it comes to their involvement in college.

Speaking Up

If you pay attention, men are always the first to speak up in class. Whatever they are thinking, they say it. Even if their answer is wrong, they are not afraid to talk. However, women think more carefully about what to say in class. Many times they have the right answer but say nothing for fear of being wrong or being judged. We grew up in societies that silenced women and that is still a big part of us. But do not be afraid to speak up! Raise your hand in class. Blurt out your answers even if you think you might be wrong. Do not be afraid of being judged. You have every right to be there, to learn, and to make mistakes.

Participating in After-Class Activities

College is a great opportunity not only for the classes but for the after-hours activities. There are many clubs and organizations you can join depending on your interests and your goals. Women can be very skeptical about joining them for multiple reasons: being judged and not being accepted are just a couple among others. This could prevent a lot of us from expanding our network and getting to know people who are similar to us. If you are thinking about joining a club or being part of an organization but will not do it because you are a woman, go for it anyways! You are allowed to enjoy your college life just as much as your male counterparts. This is the time to have fun and take risks.

Fighting Injustices

Female students may face challenges in classes that male students do not. Some teachers —whether they say it aloud or not— can be very unfair with women. They ignore their answers in class. They see them as less. They disrespect them. And some of them even harass women who do not know how they should react or what they should do. If you ever face an injustice,

you should always speak up. Reach out to other teachers you can trust, your classmates, or counselors. You deserve to have a fair and enjoyable college experience; no one should treat you different for being a woman.

How to Present Themselves

For a woman, it is very hard to know how to present yourself. You have to think very carefully about the clothes you wear, the things you say, and the people you hang out with. Based on all of those things, we can be judged and the level of respect we receive can be different. Nevertheless, you should be able to always be yourself. Dress however you want to. Speak your mind. Hang out with the people you like. Do not let what others may think change who you are. Present yourself just as you are.

Being a woman can be so hard but it is so beautiful. We are strong, smart, independent, loving, caring, wise, and resilient. That is exactly how we should be seen throughout our college career but it is not always that easy. We face many challenges that our male classmates do not. What we can do is keep speaking up for ourselves, joining the activities we love, standing up against injustices, and showing ourselves exactly as we are. We deserve the place we have earned and we deserve to be treated with respect. Go to college and leave your mark; women can do anything they set their mind to.

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