EMBRACE THE GEEK! The other day, in my post for the IUBMB I gave study tips that I hope people found helpful – in case you missed them here’s a direct link: http://bit.ly/35JBcn0 

That advice was mainly directed to college and grad students, but science studying can start much sooner! And I was contacted by a high school student, an 11th-grader named Anna Tabassum from Los Angeles, California, who had started an instagram account, @highschoolresearch to connect high schoolers doing scientific research, share advice, and give them a chance to communicate their work. 

And I found this awesome in so many ways – firstly that highschoolers are even doing research! (I didn’t have the chance until undergrad (unless you count the science fair projects – including one in which I soaked teeth in soda… (sorry if I spoiled the Tooth Fairy thing but apparently some tooth fairies save the teeth they take…)

Hey little Bri – I wish I could tell you not to hide that passion for learning!

And I found it so inspiring that this young woman had the courage to embrace her love of science and help others do the same. You see, I have always struggled with self-esteem and self-confidence (but have found that the lab coat cape helps with this) and when I was a kid/teen I wasted way too much time “playing dumb” for boys, wasting money to get clothes with that little brand logo, and worrying about being called “bossy” for taking initiative and “nerdy” or “geeky” if I admitted I liked learning. If you haven’t realized, I’ve since embraced the geek and I hope others do to – don’t be afraid to be your geeky, nerdy, any-awesome-wordy you! 

So it’s so inspiring that, as the media sends this constant message that external beauty is the big thing to aspire to, young women like Asna are able to see that their looks do not define them. I’m not out to tell girls that they can’t be interested in fashion and they can’t like princesses or the color pink – I just want them to know it’s also okay to love to science-think! 

So I’m really grateful that Asna asked me to provide a short video offering advice to young scientists in high school. You can find it on the @highschoolresearch page’s Instagram story and I’m resposting it here. I really hope you follow her page and recommend it to any highschoolers you know. Thanks again Asna – never lose that love of learning!

An awkward message to high school researchers

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