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  • Brittany A. Burgess

The Butterfly Effect (Part 1)

Updated: Feb 18, 2021

Butterfly Effect - The theory that even the smallest step one takes in his/her life can change the course of said life immensely

The purpose of this blog section is to build an open platform where young adults can support and build each other up in the academia world and/or life thereafter, especially minorities! I've heard experience is the greatest teacher, I can agree to this. I'm definitely not an expert and won't claim to be! However, throughout my years of "adulting" I've realized that there isn't a How to Guide in this thing called LIFE. Special emphasis, in the professional world. My motto --Be Empowered. Be Connected. Be Next -- is pretty self explanatory and my hope for everyone throughout their journey. I'm personable, so its only right that I take you on a journey to what led me here today #MyButterflyEffect

The lyrics "These Twenty-Somethings, God Bless These Twenty-Somethings" from SZA's hit single spoke to my young twenties, before the song played through our airways. I'm sure I've said those exact words more than enough. Thanks SZA! Here's a little introduction...currently as a twenty-eight year old, who has earned a Bachelors of Science degree from a historical black college/university #SCState, I fiddle my thumbs in a conference room where I'm the only person who looks like me...a young, black southern girl, who always had an interest in technology. I wonder - how did I make it here..this far? When in doubt, I often hear my mother whisper in my ear..."keep pushing babygirl!'" My foundation started from growing up in a rural area, yes "small town, big dreams" is so cliche, but truthful nonetheless. I probably was known as a nerd back then, but a cool nerd nonetheless, so I'm good with that. The BIG city, also known as Kingstree, South Carolina is where I was raised and received my initial education, which in hindsight prepared me for where I am today. A realistic perspective of knowing that nothing worth having will ever just fall in your lap. If I wanted it, I knew I had to work hard and go get it.

I can't say I knew anything functional about "computers" as a young girl, or technology to say the least. I knew how to type, we called it "keyboarding" back in those days. I knew how to create cool greeting cards, banners, powerpoints, and brochures from various tools such as; Greetings Workshop, Microsoft Word and AOL...yesss remember AOL. So imagine entering into South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, SC as an undergrad freshmen majoring in Computer Science. All because growing up I would always hear, "Girl, you are great with "computers" you should choose that as your college major. Hmm..major in "computers," that's definitely not an official major, so I majored in Computer Science. Yes, I was absolutely CLUELESS. Programming classes, what is that? Machine language, what is that? Oh so...computers only understand binary numbers. What the hell are binary numbers? It was all completely new to me.

My BIGGEST inspiration, my mother, passed away when I was nineteen years old, a sophomore in college. I'm clearly completely on the sidelines about life at this point, still trying to figure "it" out. I somehow (and I'm still uncertain about it) by the grace of God made it through to earn my Bachelors of Science degree in Computer Science. Four years later, I completed college and I was like everyone else, so WHAT'S NEXT? The idea of going to school all of your life, then BOOM its over, is a reality check that hits you no matter how much you think you've prepared for. *cues SZA's "These 20 Somethings"* Feelings of uncertainty, thoughts of the unknown, many distractions -- and honestly the hope of the "Real World" being set up for everyone on a level plane-field. Of course, we know that isn't true. Like, do I really have to get a real job? So guess who packed up everything and moved to the DMV {DC/Maryland/Virginia} area. I was so nervous, but I kept pushing anyway. I can't say I thought far ahead, or had a five year plan. I was in my early twenties. I basically figured life out as I went along...

First employer laid me off within four months of moving to the area, imagine that! I moved all the way to the DMV for this job. At the time, I thought this was the worst thing ever. I remember not wanting to share this with anyone, I felt like such a loser. I look back and laugh at it now, it showed me that thick skin is definitely necessary for the professional arena! I needed that taste of what I thought failure or a low looked like. Any situation that makes you uncomfortable will grow the hell out of you! I've learned that, I'm still learning that. I needed to be shaken.

Fast forward to the brighter side, I realized how much open communication is important in our communities! We have all went through similar hurdles, but keep it private. We all have questioned what's next in our career. Or is this college major right for me? We need a sense of empowerment, we need to feel connected to each other, and we need to ultimately feel our best is good enough for any next opportunity.

STAY TUNED for more of my butterfly effect...Part 2 Coming Soon

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