As a young and naive individual, I did not have any major to apply to colleges with. I had tried to think of one from the beginning of high school, but my interests were too scattered and quite frankly, interesting to pick just one. So, when applying my senior year, I chose political science. It was something I was studying in my fall semester of my senior year of high school, and it seemed like a good enough major for me. I had big dreams to change the world, travel everywhere, and create a world full of love. With those dreams very much intact, I started my first semester at West Chester University as a political science with a concentration in international relations major.
A couple of months in, I began to think about what it would be like to switch my major. After the 2016 election and the endless questions I received about it, I felt like I was not enjoying the major as much as my peers around me. With confusion still lurking around my brain and scheduling right around the corner, I scheduled more classes and chose a spring break study abroad program made for political science majors.
"This study abroad trip will definitely solidify my passion for international relations, and how I can change the world", I thought to myself.
During that trip, I learned that I did not want to study international relations anymore. I always chuckle at the irony because I was literally internationally traveling and learning about foreign institutions, and here I was, searching for different majors that interested me. That is how I came across psychology.
I successfully switched majors, enrolled in the correct classes, and was visibly excited to start studying psychology. I had no idea what I was doing, or what career trajectory I was going for. It wasn't as clear-cut as going to law school or becoming a politician. Political science has such a clear occupation list. Psychology had this open-ended feel to it, and it was very intimidating to me. Did I want to do research? Be a therapist? A school counselor? A psychiatrist? So, as one can imagine, I was not settling into my new major smoothly, and in turn, my mind created an existential crisis.
I fell into a slump, mentally and academically. I even considered dropping out.
I felt lost.
This all changed in the spring of my sophomore year, when I decided to take the leap and join a research experience with preschool age children. Now, after almost a year with the Early Childhood Cognition and Emotions Lab (ECCEL), I am passionate about helping young children, a demographic that I previously not interested in. I am happy to say that I have settled in and honed in on my passions.
Although this journey has been long and weathered, I wouldn't change anything about it. Each and every struggle, bad grade, and cry of frustration was worthwhile and helped me get where I want and need to be.