Katherine McNamara
March 18, 2015 11:55 am

As women, no matter our age, we constantly see ads and images of ways to make your hair fuller, your lips softer, and your lashes longer, it forces us to focus on our outward appearance. On further reflection though, shouldn’t we be focusing on whats inside our head as opposed to on it? Lately, it feels like school (and education in general, for that matter) has taken on sort of a negative stigma. Yes, I know sometimes it can be overwhelming (finals week) and other times there are subjects that we just can’t stand (accounting kicks my butt every time), but that doesn’t mean school is all bad. You can learn so much, expand your horizons, and change your point of view on life all by sitting in a room and simply studying. Education has become so underrated. People focus on the negative and difficult aspects and forget about the benefits and excitement of learning.

Look, I’m not saying getting an education is easy. As someone who graduated high school with honors at 14, received a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration summa cum laude at 17, and is now working on a Masters of Science in Applied Economics, I have had my fair share of long hours and sleepless nights of cramming for tests and writing papers. Learning can be challenging, but in those difficult moments, we find our strength and have the opportunity to prove to ourselves, our peers, and our educators what we truly are capable of. In overcoming obstacles, whatever they may be, we discover our inner strength and adaptability, qualities that will serve us in situations for the rest of our lives.

I’m a math person, but that doesn’t mean that all subjects come easy to me. Science, for example, was always a bit more challenging for me — and I come from a family who works mostly in the science and medicine industries. You don’t have to love math or science to be smart. It takes all kinds and interests to make the world the beautiful place it is. Maybe you just can’t seem to figure out those logarithms, don’t sweat it! Maybe you’re a gifted writer, artist, or musician. Maybe you’re great at caring for others, teaching, or listening to other’s problems. Each of us are given unique gifts and talents. Whatever they may be, they are valid and worth pursuing and turning in career. If you do what you love, you will love what you do and live a happier life! Your “smart” can come out in any number of ways! Just because your smart may not be conventional, doesn’t make it any less important or credible.

Some girls in this day and age are afraid to seem smart because they think it isn’t “cool” or “hot” to be smart. There are so many images and representations of the female stereotypes of the “dumb hot girl” and the “nerdy smart girl” that girls think they have to choose between brains and beauty. Well, I’ve got news for you, ladies! Brains are beautiful. When you can speak intelligently about a subject with passion and understanding, your eyes light up, your spirit brightens, and you smile just a little. I couldn’t think of a more beautiful image if I tried. You think the girl of any guys dreams is going to be a vacuous girl who doesn’t care about education? No! It’s someone who is intelligent and can carry on a conversation with some knowledge on the subject.

There’s a Plutarch quote on intelligence I love: “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but I fire to be kindled.” So rekindle your passion for education — learn all there is to know about this world, how it works, how other people think, and how it affects the past, the present, and the future. Listen ladies, smart is sexy: Show off that beautiful brain of yours, it’s your best asset.

(Image via.)

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