College can be intimidating, exciting, and frustrating all at once. It is a place where you can find yourself, lose yourself, and find yourself all over again. I am in a completely different place now, then I was as a freshman. As a senior in high school, I thought I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to do with my life. My plan was to become a special education teacher and teach Kindergarten to fifth graders.
In elementary, through high school, I have always engaged myself in extracurricular activities and still do to this day. From seventh to twelfth grade, I participated in a program called Natural Helpers or as my friends and I liked to call it “Natural Healers.” This is a national program, that most schools participate in. The selection process for Natural helpers is pretty simple. An anonymous survey is given out throughout the school, asking students which of their fellow students and staff members they felt the most comfortable talking to about any problems that they may face.
From what I can remember, we would have one meeting, every other month during a designated period of time. When I first started out, I remember being shy, and seeking the other member's help, because I didn't really know what I was doing, or if I was giving the right kind of advice. Although it wasn't evident to me at the time, it was clear to those around me that I had a knack for giving people advice and making them "feel better." I thought I was the one who needed help and was shocked to be picked for such a position.
Still passionate about teaching, and having a love of giving people advice and being a part of the program, I stayed with Natural Helpers until I graduated high school. The older I got, the more people I saw turning to me for advice. Sometimes I was even asked to sit in a private meeting, to discuss a situation that a younger Natural Helper was conflicted with.
During my first one and a half years of college, I changed my major twice. First, I declared my major as Special Education. I wasn't ready to give up my dream of teaching kids, and at the time I thought that if I changed my major, it meant giving up my dream. Then I realized something. I could make a career of giving people advice, do something I love, and get that feeling back that Natural Helpers gave me. Since Old Westbury didn't offer Social Work as a major, but only a minor, I decided to declare my major as Sociology.
My relationship with Sociology lasted about a semester. I spoke with my Intro to Sociology professor, and she told me that she thought Psychology would be a great fit for me. Not because I wasn't doing well with the course work, but because she could tell from our conversations that I still didn't find my place. I dreaded having to change my major again, and I had no idea what it would mean for me, or my future career.
Needless to say, my path to Psychology wasn't an easy one. Having almost entered my senior year of college, I can say for certain that I have found my home within Psychology. I can honestly say those five years of being apart of Natural Helpers has definitely helped me become the person I am today. While learning how to help others, I am also helping myself grow in ways I could've never imagined possible.
It's OK to change your major, and it's OK if it takes you a while to find a home within it. You have to choose a major that makes your heart happy. If you don't love what you do, then why are you doing it?