Congratulations to all of you college freshmen out there (including myself) who have finally made it to your very first college finals week! It’s one thing to walk around campus with a Starbucks latte in one hand and a textbook in the other, but making it to finals really solidifies the whole college student experience.
You can still hate it, though.
Finals really are the worst: They’re right before the holidays, and while you’re excited to go home and munch on homemade cookies and give and get awesome presents, a bunch of huge, grade-deciding tests stand in your way. Everyone’s stressed, no one has gotten enough sleep – it’s like a zombie apocalypse that occurs once a semester!
Still, finals week, as well as education itself, is necessary for all of us to become the radical, ground-breaking, history-making women we are meant to be. That can be hard to remember when you’re groggy from late-night study sessions and wearing the same pair of sweats from three days ago, but there are so many young, accomplished women in the world who have gone through hard times only to come out on top.
Here are a few of those women to remind you of why all of this strain and pressure is necessary. Give them a thought in between flashcards.
Be glad that Rowan Blanchard isn’t your little sister, because odds are, she’d be your parents’ favorite child. Sorry, that’s just a fact. The star of the Disney Channel show and ultimate ’90s throwback “Girl Meets World,” Blanchard is much more than a flash-in-the-pan teenybopper.
Her frequent social media posts in which she speaks about topics such as feminism, gun violence, and human rights show a wisdom waaay beyond her years. (Read her essay on intersectional feminism RIGHT NOW. I’ll wait.) Her Instagram photos and style frequently give me life – that sequin dress, though – and she’s set to costar in the film adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time.”
She’s fifteen, guys. FIFTEEN. So don’t complain about that chem test, alright? Because Rowan Blanchard wouldn’t.
It’s a cliche to say that someone needs no introduction, but still, Malala Yousafzai needs no introduction. I’m willing to bet that at least one of you out there has already read her bestselling memoir “I Am Malala,” and if you did, I know that you loved it every bit as much as I did.
You think that maintaining your GPA is scary? Try standing up to the Taliban…or being shot by the Taliban, for that matter. That’s exactly what happened to Yousafzai, though, and she survived and is now thriving.
She’s a Nobel Peace Prize Winner and continues to be a world-renowned activist for access to education for women and girls. If anyone would encourage you to study up, it would be Malala Yousafzai.
If you haven’t yet heard of Simone Biles, then you must have been on quite the vacation this summer, one big enough to make you ignore all of the 2016 Summer Olympics. The rest of us were riotously cheering on USA’s Final Five women’s gymnastics team, with Biles as its undeniable standout.
Raised by her grandparents, as her biological parents were unable to care for her, Biles grew from a girl with a tough background to a world-famous athlete with four Olympic Gold Medals. While, again, the entire Final Five rocked the Olympic world, it was Biles’s touching story that many of us identified with the most. Who doesn’t love a good underdog?
Just pretend that these finals are your Olympics, your moment of glory. Go for the gold.
I love my job here at College Fashion, but I’ll be the first to admit that, as a journalist, Tavi Gevinson has blown me out of the water. She’s the founder and editor-in-chief of Rookie, a popular online magazine – which she started when she was Eleven. Years. Old.
Since then, Rookie has become highly influential among online magazines, and Gevinson has been on both ends of celebrity interviews. She’s also currently been giving acting a try, notably in the latest Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” with such high-profile costars as Saoirse Ronan and Ben Whishaw.
If your English final just so happens to feature “The Crucible,” try to imagine the fabulous and fashionable Tavi Gevinson giving you hints to the answers.
Jazz Jennings is kinda sorta totally a modern day superhero. At 16, she’s already made waves with her outspokenness and activism in the transgender community, much of which can be seen on her reality show, “I Am Jazz.”
While headstrong and a force to be reckoned with, Jennings is also known for her sunny, bubbly, makes-you-want-to-be-her-BFF demeanor. She’s also written a memoir, “Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen” and has founded multiple charities, including the TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation.
A reality show, a memoir, charities…that’s quite a schedule. Next time you wonder how you’ll manage studying for all of your finals, you’ll have to imagine how the brave and busy Jazz Jennings does it!
It’s Zendaya‘s world, and we’re all just living in it. Having starred on not one, but two, hit Disney Channel shows, she’s since moved on to more mature, but no less stellar, projects.
You’re probably humming one of her hit singles as you read this- who doesn’t love “Replay?” Next year, she’ll be starring in “Spiderman: Homecoming” alongside Robert Downey, Jr., Marisa Tomei, and cute newcomer Tom Holland. My personal favorite Zendaya moment, however, was her fierce comeback at haters who commented negatively on the dreadlocks she rocked at the 2015 Academy Awards.
Zendaya can pretty much do anything, and I feel that at this time of year, we could all use a boost of her awe-inspiring confidence.
Your turn, readers!
Which of these tremendously talented ladies will you be getting inspiration from during these trying finals? Is there one I didn’t mention? Comment below, and don’t you dare forget to share! Good luck on those finals, guys! I’m sure you’ll do fantastically.