Why I Chose Psychology

Psychology was not my original major.

When I first started college, I majored in mathematics. I’m not even sure why I did. I liked math. But what the hell do you do with a mathematics degree? Shit. You do shit.

Then I bounced around from majoring in English to communications to who knows what else. I was 18 and didn’t even know myself, let alone what I wanted to do with my life. All of the departments wanted me, so whenever someone grabbed a hold of me and gave me their pitch, I ended up changing my major to that. Looking back, it was such a hot mess. Thankfully, I didn’t waste too much of my life there.

I took a course in psychology to fulfill a social science requirement. It was my first psychology course – my high school never had anything psychology-related. I really enjoyed it and found it interesting. One day in class, we were discussing odd behaviors in childhood. Students were sharing their stories. I, for some reason, decided to share my childhood fascination (not the right word, I don’t even know) with saving my poop. Through the laughter, the professor came up with possible explanations for my behavior. Something in me clicked that day. If psychology gave reasons for my shitty (literally) behavior, what other things could it explain?

I soon switched my major to psychology. Unfortunately, a short time later, I dropped out of school. But I never lost my love for psychology; it only grew. I was determined to find explanations. I wanted to know why I had so many issues. What were the reasons for my behaviors? What caused my mental illness? What is really wrong with me?

And as I went along, I started seeking out answers to explain my mother’s behavior. What makes a parent hate her child? What makes people abuse others? How are people able to act one way in public and a different way in private? Are people like that aware of what they are doing? Is it mental illness, or is it a choice?

I needed answers. I spent so much of my 20s, even out of school, researching and reading and looking for answers. I needed answers. Some of the answers, I did find. But most regarding my mother were left unanswered.

I realize now that not every question has an answer. I may never know or understand why my mother did the things she did. No one knows for certain except my mother. But that won’t stop me from trying. I want to understand. I need to understand.

I turn to psychology to help me understand. I turn to psychology so I can help others understand. I want to know the ins and outs of the human mind. I want to understand behavior. I want to understand what makes people do bad things just as much as I want to understand what makes people do good. I want to know about resilience. I want to know it all.

I was meant to study psychology.

One thought on “Why I Chose Psychology

  1. This is more or less how I ended up studying psychology, which is what I earned my B.A. in during undergrad. I worked in the field for 7 years but ultimately found it too activating. That’s when I went back to school to study physical therapy. I will always love psychology and it certainly informs my practice now.

    Liked by 2 people

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