In our life, in our career we came across many different failures, some failures are so painful that they totally broke us, but the people you don’t give up, those who fight against them are the ones who become a legend.
This week on Twitter a woman who didn’t quit physics even after scoring a ‘zero’ in her Quantum Physics exam has inspired thousands of people including Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai.
Sarafina Nance, 26 years old, took to Twitter to share her journey of having failed in a quantum physics exam four years ago to becoming a part of “a top tier astrophysics Ph.D. program”.
“4 years ago I got a zero on a quantum physics exam. I met with my professor fearing I needed to change my major & quit physics. today, I’m in a top tier astrophysics Ph.D. program & published 2 papers,” Nance tweeted.
“STEM is hard for everyone — grades don’t mean you’re not good enough to do it (sic.),” she added.
4 years ago I got a 0 on a quantum physics exam. i met with my professor fearing i needed to change my major & quit physics. today, i’m in a top tier astrophysics Ph.D program & published 2 papers.
STEM is hard for everyone—grades don’t mean you’re not good enough to do it.
— Sarafina Nance (@starstrickenSF) November 20, 2019
The tweet went viral in no time, garnering over 81,000 likes and more than 14,000 retweets. The tweet caught the attention of Sundar Pichai, who replied to her tweet and said, “Well said and so inspiring!”
The inspiring story of the young astrophysicist who is also a breast cancer survivor opened the gates for a flood of similar stories. Among them is Mike Turner, Director of Science, Wellcome Trust, a research charity based in London.
Well said and so inspiring! https://t.co/qHBwdv3fmS
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) November 21, 2019
“This is an inspiring thread. Thank you, Sarafina. I left school with 2 A levels, got the third next year and into uni through clearing. Now director of science at Europe’s largest funder of Biomed science. Do not let failure define you (sic.),” he said.
“You are an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing,” said another user.
“I so admire you, little sister. I wish so much I would have been brave enough to forge ahead into the Sciences as have you and so many others of your generation. I hope my grand nieces follow you. Lilly wants to be a Starship Commander. So I buy her rockets to build and launch,” tweeted another.
Sarafina Nance is a first-year grad student in astronomy and interested in a variety of topics, largely under the umbrella of theoretical astrophysics. She was an undergrad at The University of Texas (Hook ‘Em!), where she majored in Physics and in Astronomy.
There, she worked with J. Craig Wheeler to probe the structure of pre-supernova stars using asteroseismology. She grew up in Austin, Texas. Besides astronomy, she like tennis, yoga, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Game of Thrones.
Last year Pichai had shared his views on education in an article for NBC News. “We should make sure that the next generation of jobs is good jobs, in every sense,” Pichai wrote.
“Rather than thinking of education as the opening act, we need to make sure it’s a constant, natural and simple act across life with lightweight, flexible courses, skills, and programs available to everyone.”
He also said that with the advent of technology, it was vital to make education a “continuous process.” Pichai wrote, “In the past, people were educated and learned job skills, and that was enough for a lifetime.
Now, with technology changing rapidly and new job areas emerging and transforming constantly, that’s no longer the case. We need to focus on making lightweight, continuous education widely available. This is just as crucial to making sure that everyone can find opportunities in the future workplace.”
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