Despite Everything: Science Communication Edition

I get a lot of anxiety over whether I'm employable and doing the right things to become employable. A source of great shame for me is that I didn't get a placement last year.

So trying to write my letter of motivation for my exchange programme wasn't the most comfortable of experiences. Trying to write it in my third language didn't help either!

(I might suck at being employable, but I speak four languages with designs on improving at least an extra three beyond "bullshitting" levels. That counts for something, right?)

For anyone who hasn't written a letter of motivation, it's basically a page of showing off and explaining why you want to do something.

So in my letter I had to show off more than just my love of black holes and why I want to go on exchange to this particular university; I had to show off things I'd actually done.

I think I'm a particularly lazy person with a patchy employment history. My history disagrees with me.

I did my first proper bit of science communication when I was 15 and spoke at the Royal Institution Unconference. Since then I don't think I've been able to stop! I've woken up at ungodly hours to attend conferences all over the country, been published, volunteered with my university's physics outreach department, mentored first year students (you're all amazing and I couldn't have wished for better mentees - and good luck in your exams!) and volunteered to teach over one thousand girls basic coding skills.

(Not on my own, obviously. I volunteer with Robogals Manchester and the year I was a committee member, we managed to teach over one thousand girls. We weren't even aiming for that many.)

Not bad for someone who's basically been pissing around for five years!

The point is that despite everything - despite my laziness, my mental health problems, everything - I still do enough stuff that it comes off looking like false modesty when I say I'm actually a slob.

And there's going to be more. If I get to where I want to be next year, CoderDojo Paris is real and I want to be getting involved somehow. Maybe I'll even export Robogals and we can have our first continental European chapter...

...Point is, despite everything, there might just be hope.