Tips for minorities

I’ve recently been doing a lot of preparation for presentations, and my friend Craig (of blog fame) mentioned a blog post a while back called “tips for women in cs” – I attempted to read this again, but since the move, I’ve lost it somewhere…so I decided to rewrite this for any minority in any subject.
The original post was written because I got angry at someone’s comment on a Facebook group, so I’ll write this one with a little more maturity and a little more helpfulness.

1. Don’t hide. I was given this advice by a life coach at an event I went to about 18 months ago and I think this covers most things. Importantly:
A. If you’re stuck, ask for help
B. If you’re lonely, talk to people. Peers in particular, but also other social groups. If you can brave it, do it alone because this will force you to make friends, and won’t stop you if no one else from your group is interested.
C. Its important we show as many role models for the people who might follow you in your footsteps, so get active, and get showing that if you can do it, why can’t they? (Stolen from Dr. sue Black’s blog titled if I can do it, so can you…) Don’t feel pressured to do this, but this is why I get around (heheh…) as well as the fact I really love technology and meeting people who love it like I do.

2. Forget the haters cause someone will love you (yes, that’s a Miley Cyrus lyric): there’s going to be some horrid people who make horrid comments because they have yet to grow up and realise in order to get places, they need to do things with their lives, not put down others. Eventually you’ll pull through and find awesome people who will be like your family. Its also worth noting the nastypasties make up a small percentage of computer scientists who shout louder than the rest.

3. The people around you are probably just as scared as you are, but are acting like they know more. I met plenty of students in first year who rambled off 3 letter acronyms they’d picked up before uni – I was a little guilty of this too, I have to say – this doesn’t make them better than you. In fact its a sign they’re trying to act clever when they probably know very little. The wisest man (or woman 😛 ) knows he doesn’t know everything.

I can’t think of much more than that: if anyone else has anything to add to this, shoot me a tweet or a comment.

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