Female high school students experience more suicidal thoughts and attempts than males. However, male high school students complete suicide more frequently. One concern drawn from the research of Sian Beilock, PhD of the University of Chicago is how messages of stereotypes such as, "Girls find math difficult", can create something called stereotype threat. Stereotype threat is a situation where individuals are at risk of confirming a negative stereotype about a group to which they belong.
My symptoms were eventually diagnosed as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks itself. My search online yielded a website that charted survival in vague terms, claiming 90% of lupus patients lived five years post-diagnosis while 75% made it to 10 years and only 65% made it 15 years. For someone in her early 20s, those odds weren't reassuring. I knew as a journalist that information was power and never in my life had I felt so incredibly powerless. So, I set out on a mission to learn as much about lupus as I could. I never dreamed that journey would eventually lead me to medical school.
I am a 21 year-old paleontologist. I live and and work in Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska. While what I just said may seem perfectly clear to me, I get a lot of questions about what I do. People think I run around with a bullwhip. People assume I spend my day dreaming about riding dinosaurs.
Editor's Note: This post is part of a series produced by HuffPost's Girls In STEM Mentorship Program. Join the community as we discuss issues affectin...