Angelique Ruggiero

Occupation: Veterinary Student Starting in August at the University of Pennsylvania

Website: www.angeliqueruggiero.com/

Instagram: angeliqueruggiero

Angelique Ruggiero

HOW DID YOU IDENTIFY YOUR PASSION AND THE WORK THAT SATISFIED YOU VERSUS WORK THAT JUST PAID THE BILLS?

When I started college, I really had no idea what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted to help the world in some way. I discovered a love for science and continued my education with a Masters program, where I started to volunteer for veterinarians. I had always loved the medical field but something always felt off for me. However, when I started volunteering in animal medicine I realized that I had found a path that combined being able to give back to a world that has given me so much with all of my passions: science, medicine, and animals. I was excited to go into work even though I wasn’t even getting paid. I was excited to learn more about the field. I was even excited to start the gruelling application process for vet school. I’m the type of person who can be very indecisive and I truly think I could be happy doing multiple different things but I think the path that I’m on will lead to a happy life. My advice to anyone looking for the right career is to never settle, to remember that its NEVER too late, and to make sure you love what you do. Ask yourself if you’d mind going into work if it didn’t pay much or if you’d mind doing research about your field outside of work? For most of us, work is a big part of our lives so enjoying our jobs day to day is so important.

NAME A TIME RECENTLY WHEN YOU SAID SOMETHING GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF/HOW DID THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?

After my accident, my scars made me feel less than. I didn’t feel quite as beautiful and I was embarrassed. But after a while, I started to realize that my scars make me unique. They serve as a reminder of how far I have come, the obstacles I have overcome and the expectations that I have exceeded. Now, through my blog and Instagram, I try to say something good about myself every day to remind myself that I’m enough and to remind others to try and stay positive. I’m not beautiful in spite of my scars, I’m beautiful because of them and I feel so incredibly blessed.

WHY DO YOU THINK WOMEN SHY AWAY FROM CELEBRATING OR PRAISING THEMSELVES SO MUCH?

In the past, social media has really only shone a light on one type of woman and because of that, so many women started to belittle themselves. It made it really hard for women to praise or celebrate who they are because most women didn’t feel like they were enough. But in reality, the world is filled with women of all different colors, shapes and sizes. And it is only now that I am beginning to see all kinds of women getting the spotlight. For example, when’s the last time you saw a model who had scars all over her legs? But thanks to movements like The Tribe women of all different types are getting the attention they deserve and I’m hoping that this feeling that we aren’t enough turns into a feeling that we are exactly enough.

HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THE TENDENCY TO DISCREDIT COMPLIMENTS YOU ARE GIVEN?

I’ve always been the person that denied or shied away from a compliment. I felt awkward because I was taught to be humble. I’ve tried to start remembering that when I’m given a compliment its because I deserve it! Nobody knows your story but when someone admires you for the piece of the story that you’ve decided to share with them, accept it with grace because you’ve earned it.

WHO WAS THE FIRST FEMALE TO TEACH YOU OR INSPIRE YOU TO FEEL THAT #YOUAREENOUGH?

My mom is really the first person, let alone woman, to teach me that I am enough. I am so fortunate to have been brought up by someone who taught me to know my self worth and value the amazing qualities I have, instead of dwelling on the qualities I don’t like. She taught me that what’s most important is what’s on the inside and that if you put compassion and love into the world, you’ll get compassion and love back.

WHAT WOULD YOU GO BACK AND TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF, TO ENCOURAGE SELF-ESTEEM AND SELF-LOVE?

I would tell her that she shouldn’t be so hard on herself and that she will succeed in whatever she puts her mind to. Growing up I sometimes forgot that it’s okay to have fun. I put so much pressure on myself and really stressed myself out. Mental health should be your number one priority. If your mental health is deteriorating, you won’t be successful in any other part of your life. That’s why it is definitely possible to have fun AND be successful. Its okay to take the day off and just relax or do nothing productive. I always have a little voice in the back of my head that I should be productive when I’m trying to relax, but its really important to give yourself a break and clear your head so that you can work more efficiently later.

WHERE DO YOU THINK THE NEED TO COMPETE WITH OTHER WOMEN COMES FROM? IS IT TAUGHT? 

I think that competition is natural and healthy to an extent. We need competition to push us to be the best people we can be. However, I definitely think its more important to try and compete with ourselves than one another. Its important to build each other up. I’m not quite sure if this need to compete with each other is taught or innate, but I think that we should try to correct that behavior in our children by setting an example of encouraging positivity . Uniting is the only way we’re going to become a better world.

WHY IS THE TRIBE MOVEMENT IMPORTANT?

The world puts too much pressure on women for us to pile more on by competing with one another and knocking each other down. The Tribe Movement helps us rise above that competition and build each other up. By standing together, we are able to overcome more obstacles and show the world what we’re really capable of. Inspiring and encouraging one another to be the best versions of ourselves is the only way we’re going to change the way that the world sees women. We’re strong, we’re beautiful, and we’re capable so let’s show the world just that.

HOW ARE YOU ENSURING YOUR PEACE OF MIND AND SANITY DURING COVID-19?

I’ve been trying to focus on growing myself in ways that I didn’t have time to before. I’m reading, I’m learning to sew, I’ve been trying new workouts (just got into yoga using the app Down Dog Yoga and I highly recommend), I’ve been writing for my blog, and most importantly I’ve been spending time with my family and new puppy, Scout. This is a really difficult time for everyone so just make sure to keep that in mind when you’re talking to one another. Maybe reach out to a friend you haven’t talked to in awhile or learn a new skill. I really can’t emphasize how critical social distancing is for everyone right now. Contrary to popular belief, anyone can be affected seriously and it’s so important to be smart and unselfish and work together (by not being together) so that we can slow the spread of this virus. Please stay safe, stay healthy, and stay busy! The best thing we can do right now is just take care of our physical health, and more than ever, our mental health. Stay positive, we will beat this!