My parents constantly remind me to make sure that I am pursuing something that would allow me to have a career. When I was young I thought this was very simple. If I go to college then I am guaranteed a job after I graduate; that is what degrees are for, right? Every day I wish this was not just a foolish way of thinking, but reality. Though it is true that yes, if you go to college you will get a job--society tells us we are more qualified with a degree--it is not as easy as I thought it would be. It seems like only very few people graduate with a career to look forward to. I am afraid that I won't be one of those lucky people.
I am half way through my third year of college and I am having the hardest time acknowledging that I will have to fully take on the responsibilities of an adult soon. When I was young I wanted nothing more than to be older and I regret that deeply now. I wish almost every day that I could just go back to being a little kid who watched Digimon and Pokémon every morning and played with her Barbie dolls. I think I speak on behalf of all college students when I say the thought of the adult world is terrifying.
My fear, however, does not come from knowing that one day I will have to apply for jobs, pay bills and get my own insurance. It is the fact that I am an African-American bisexual cis-gendered woman. I am also a very vocal person. When given the opportunity, I speak out on any present injustices and inequalities. I have seen so many people like me who have been shunned and quieted for being a minority, for speaking out on the injustices and inequalities present in our world, or both.
My main career goal is to become an actress. Whether I am on a stage or in front of a camera, it is literally the only time where I feel free because I am doing something that I love. This goal is already challenging because minorities still are not casted nearly as much as white people are. Outside of this, I want to be a voice of change. I want to be a role model to those that identify with certain aspects of my life. I want people to see me and go, “She is just like me. She is the reason why I want to do this." Unfortunately, society is not accepting of this. Society does not like when a woman, especially a black woman, is educated. Every time I have seen a Black woman speak in a way that shows she is educated, there is always a negative comment leading right behind it. "She sounds white when she talks." “She is pretty smart for a Black girl."
So I am fearful. I am fearful that someone will not give me the credit I deserve because I am a Black woman who is too educated. I am fearful that my voice will not reach an audience. I am fearful of not being able to do what I love and be successful at it because I am so vocal and because my skin color, gender and sexual orientation are not deemed worthy by society. However, I refuse to compromise. So I will fight and I will break down every door that is put in front of me. I will break boundaries. Not just because I want to be known as another Black woman who inspires other Black women, but because I want to be someone who makes a difference and impacts the lives of everyone. And, truthfully, I may always be afraid of the future, but I will never allow that fear to turn me into a coward.