As we grow up, we keep our childhood heroines, but we also gain new ones. My newest is Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz, a character from a TV show, The Big Bang Theory. Bernadette is an amazing woman to look up to. She holds a doctorate in microbiology and works a lucrative job for a pharmaceutical company doing research that she absolutely loves. She’s a huge geek and embraces new experiences, such as dressing up as Cinderella on a visit to Disneyland to playing video games that her husband enjoys. Her relationship with her husband, Howard, is also completely wonderful: although the rest of the world tends to treat Howard as a pathetic nobody, Bernadette absolutely loves him, always defends Howard, and praises him to her friends. Yet she also has her own life, enjoying the company of her friends, excitedly sharing her newest research findings, and encouraging others to be as confident in themselves as she is in herself. Bernadette has also overcome her share of challenges: her overbearing mother and mother-in-law, jokes about her small stature (caused by her mother’s smoking), and working at the Cheesecake Factory to put herself through school. She’s a woman who has come a long way, forging her own path to pursue the things she loves and not letting anything hold her back. Bernadette is my new heroine because she inspires me to just be myself, to embrace my passions, and to never let anyone or anything stand in the way of what I really want.