Journey to Following My Passion

Going into my undergraduate studies, I thought that I wanted to work in the medical field. In high school, I had a positive experience with a chemistry class and thought this would be something to pursue in college. However, soon into my first year, I realized something was missing from my studies: passion.

I was often terrified and depressed showing up to class. It seemed a lot of my peers knew exactly what they were doing and found enjoyment in it; I felt lost. I thought to myself, “why in the world did I choose this?” Then, I took an Introduction to Psychology course and the ideas being presented by my professor resonated greatly with me.

When I was young, my mother was arrested and I lost a relationship with one of the most important people in my life. I developed an anxiety disorder, sunk into a shell, and sometimes life just felt unbearable and impossible. While socially I was somewhat withdrawn, I found myself asking so many questions about my observations of the outside world. I noticed things about others and wondered why they behaved that way.

Thought Bubble Rebecca Hoskins / Her Campus Media Before that very first psychology course, I never really had the answers to these questions––only my own speculation. Honestly, I never even realized there was an answer. I didn’t know that psychology was more than just people studying the brain itself, but that the topic could apply to almost anything we encounter in our daily lives.

Switching my major was difficult. My family expressed doubt about the potential for a psychology degree versus a medical degree. But I knew in my gut that this decision was right for me. I didn’t automatically jump to the conclusion of what exactly I wanted to study (as psychology is extremely broad), but over the course of college, I found my niche. It took one Research Methods course designing a study with a small group of classmates and reading lots of literature before realizing that I wanted to pursue Forensic Psychology.

Now, I am applying to graduate schools and super excited about the future. I think it is important for everyone to realize that you may not know what you want to do right away. As an 18-year-old going into college, you’re pressured to make quick decisions about your future––but never settle. When you attend school, you’re investing in your future. For me, I wanted to make sure that future was something I felt passionate about. And who knows? Maybe I’m wrong! But you’ll never know until you take that risk. It’s never too late.