ICYMI: in mid-November I went back to Dublin to speak at The Undergraduate Awards as an alumna. This short post is about my talk, its outcome and what it means to me.
The Undergraduate Awards
I was the overall winnner for media and journalism at the Undergraduate Awards 2015. After meeting a bunch of inspiring young researchers, getting my paper published in the UA journal and being given a medal by the President of Ireland, I realised I wanted to go back to studying. Since then, I have cooked up a whole new future for myself, focusing on research in criminology and cyber-harassment. It was quite a U turn, following a pre-Quarter Life Crisis. I was 23, and in just over two years my life has changed massively.
This year, after getting back in touch with the team, I was invited to speak to new winners as part of the alumni success stories to discuss my career, my novel and everything else I’ve been getting up to since 2015.
Hello, my name is Carolina and welcome to my TedTalk:
JK. Anyway, speaking to this inspiring crowd of researchers was fantastic, and the feedback I’ve received was even better than what I’d hoped. I am so glad that the guests were able to take on my key messages: never apologise for who you are; never feel afraid to ask for help; never feel like it’s too late to make meaningful changes to your life. Never apologise for being vulnerable, because vulnerability means growth. Yet, the main thing I felt was that I was tired.
Tired of hearing how many women of all ages responded to my talk by saying: “I am/was in an abusive relationship too.” I was – and still am – tired to hear that so many women have to deal with this shit. Tired to hear that they are still scared. and ashamed.
It sounds naive to say that I’d like to live in a world where violence – and, in this case, gender-based violence – doesn’t exist. But it’s the truth, I’d like that to be the case. And I’d also like to live in a world where, if violence must happen, its victims are not blamed for it. So I’m glad if some women found inspiration and strength in my talk, but mainly what I want them to find is the ability to stop blaming themselves, and stop feeling the pain that I felt.
I hope this video helps someone too, or resonates with someone. It was filmed by The Collective Dublin and edited by me – so all bad edits are mine.