In high school, I worried about what I would major in more than about where I would go to college. I was terrified of the fact that I had to pick something to do at eighteen years old and potentially stick with it for life. While I am very pleased with the decisions I made, I wish I would have known that one can go into college undeclared or take a gap year.
When people asked me how I chose to double major in criminology and psychology, I felt like I needed a better answer than “I liked Criminal Minds and wanted a career where I could help people.” I started thinking about how I got to where I am and how many times I thought I had made up my mind only to change it again.
I began to seriously think about my career around freshman year. At the time, my dream was to become a nurse. Simultaneously, my dad was battling an array of autoimmune diseases and sat in a wheelchair; I took care of all his needs during this time. I knew how to use a blood pressure monitor and I learned how to deal with oxygen tanks. It seemed like the perfect job until I realized I couldn’t handle needles and blood as well as I thought.
In junior year I decided I wanted to be a forensic scientist. The idea of being on crime scenes and helping solve crimes fascinated me. Since I had a gap in my schedule, I took an online class for forensic science. I hated it. I was horrible at the required math and I could not make sense out of different kinds of blood spatter. The next semester, I took a criminology class to continue exploring the world of criminal justice.
[bf_image id="h9kksh5nnkqcpjm6mq9wxmmj"] After the first few weeks of my criminology class, I knew that I wanted to major in criminology. It fascinated me and it made sense. When I started thinking about what I could do with a criminology degree, it was suggested to me that I double major in psychology. I already liked the subject of psychology, so I went with it.
While researching what to do with a joint degree, I found correctional facility psychology. I now plan to graduate from the University of Denver with a criminology and psychology degree. Next I’d like to go to a school such as Pennsylvania State, which offers a five-year program to obtain my master’s degree and PhD in psychology. After that, I plan to become a Correctional Facility Psychologist in order to help inmates reintegrate into society, study inmates in prisons, and hopefully make newfound or enlightening contributions to the field of psychology.