Google CEO Sundar Pichai became one of the thousands intrigued by 26-year-old astrophysicist Sarafina Nance's story about scoring zero marks in her quantum physics examination.
Sarafina Nance, a PhD student in astrophysics and a National Science Foundation (NSF) fellow in the University of California in Berkley, shared her story of having scored zero marks in a quantum physics examination years ago. Following the setback, she considered quitting physics. However, she revealed that not giving up and sticking with the subject has now made her a part of "top tier astrophysics PhD program."
She concluded her tweet with a message that read, “STEM is hard for everyone—grades don’t mean you’re not good enough to do it.”
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
Her tweet prompted many researchers and scholars to open up about their stories of setbacks and challenges and how they overcame them. As the thread went viral, Google CEO Sundar Pichai took notice of it and retweeted the “inspiring” story.
Well said and so inspiring! https://t.co/qHBwdv3fmS
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) November 21, 2019
The thread, which is viral now, continues to receive get responses from people about the challenges they have faced in their academic career.
Here are some of the other interesting and inspiring stories that scientists and scholars shared:
Got a 2.4 GPA my first semester in college. Thought maybe I wasn’t cut out for engineering. Today I’ve landing two spacecraft on Mars, and designing one for the moon.
STEM is hard for everyone. Grades ultimately aren’t what matters. Curiosity and persistence matter.
— Ben Cichy (@bencichy) November 22, 2019
Never got a top grade in first 2 years of engineering. Failed design twice. Profs were semi helpful; friends were the decisive support.
Aced my graduation thesis, went to @ESA, now project manager for space systems, co-filed a patent. Only you know what you really can do.
— Max Lange (@Rocketist) November 21, 2019
I did poorly in HS and was put in rudimentary math classes. In college, I nearly failed several courses including quantum and didn't feel like I belonged. I bombed the physics GRE. Twice. It nearly broke me. I became a physics professor at age 24 and now teach 7 different courses https://t.co/ykQipVPccW
— Alex Spahn (@spahn711) November 22, 2019
My family couldn't afford SAT prep, I didn't do so well the first time. I kept at it. I became the first in my family to go to college. I decided to triple major. My advisor said "no." I triple majored in 4 years. I now teach compsci to students who can't afford to go to college. https://t.co/gEvn7v7ZZg
— Melody Serra (@MelRSerra) November 22, 2019
I failed my second year Astronomy course in my undergrad.... It was devastating as I had moved halfway around the world to study astronomy & spent so much $. Don’t let marks define you! I persevered and got HBSc, MSc and PhD in Astronomy. Find a support system and be persistent! https://t.co/Rb2kFrvhRf
— Dr. Parshati Patel (@ParshatiPatel) November 22, 2019
Aged 9, I was told I wasn't very academic.
Aged 25, I have:
💪 A PhD in Mars science 🚀
💪 A postdoc position
💪 9 peer-reviewed scientific publications
💪 Helped to choose a landing site for the @ESA_ExoMars rover mission.
As my mum says: don't let anyone tell you you can't. https://t.co/6owlLgkgGn
— Frances Butcher (@fegbutcher) November 21, 2019
Failed physics and chemistry at school, took geology instead. 30 years later got my bachelor's degree doing Earth sci and ended up as a uni lecturer
— Linda Fowler (@lindamary) November 22, 2019
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Updated Date: Nov 24, 2019 13:19:33 IST