People always ask kids what they want to be when they grow up when kids barely even know the million possible options they could be in the future. When I was younger, I was also asked the same question. It was one of the hardest questions to answer (It still is for me). I knew few professions: doctor, teacher, pilot etc. I just used to answer what came to my mind at the time. I couldn’t answer truthfully because I myself didn’t know what I wanted to be. As I grew up, this question became even more difficult to answer as it was asked even more frequently. From middle school to high school, the pressure to know the answer to this question raised even higher because we had to choose subjects that align with what we want to be in the future. I somehow figured out what I wanted to do, what I wanted to be but still till now I’m not sure what I want to do specifically in the field. I’m still searching for the answers and exploring my field of interest. I guess it is okay to be confused, to not know all the answers and not have it all figured out.
So, my subject of interest is psychology and I aspire to be a psychologist and excel in the field. I don’t have exact memory of when my thoughts of wanting to be a psychologist struck my mind but looking back at the memory lane, I have been interested to work in the field of psychology when I only knew very little about psychology. To be completely honest, I was unaware that the subject even existed back then. But the things that were happening at that time made me want to work for it, though I wasn’t sure what I could do. The news that I used to hear at that time was alarming. The news was about ‘suicides’ and I had witnessed people calling and bullying someone mad for not acting normal. Rather than understanding the underlying problems that made these events happen, the issues were taken as taboo in my neighborhood, my school, my community. But I always felt like there was something behind the scenes of these issues. I have always been a curious and inquisitive person and I tried to learn about these issues with the help of the internet to educate myself. It still saddens me that the subject of mental health and psychology wasn’t included in the academics and course books in school despite being one of the important subjects children need to know about. (It still isn’t included which we need to change) With the help of internet and other sources, I came to know about different mental health problems, disorders, psychology, but the information was too much to take in for my young mind. I learnt that there were more issues lying underneath the problem of people trying to/committing suicide. It made me furious when these issues were taken as taboo, made fun of and used as topic of gossip and backbiting. I wanted to change that. I wanted to work for it.
When I tell this reasoning to whomever who asks why I chose Psychology and no other subjects and just did social activism instead, I am actually very interested to study it. More I learn about psychology, the more interesting it becomes. I have engaged in many conversations with people who have so many misconceptions about psychology. The common misconception is that they think it’s about reading minds, which is not true. Also people have limited the field of psychology to mental health and illnesses but there is a HUGE scope of psychology. Our psychology teacher told this in our class “Wherever there is mind, thoughts and behaviors, there is psychology.” which I have glued to my mind. This statement made me hopeful for my future because it means I have a huge field of area to work in.
I am currently an undergraduate student who has just started a Bachelor’s degree with a major in Psychology. Since I’ve been interested in psychology from a young age, I am really happy to be studying it. All the psychology classes I’ve attended have been very fascinating for me and I learn new things every day. I am hopeful and enthusiastic to learn more about psychology. Having met so many of my classmates from psychology classes, who are as equally as interested in psychology as I am, have impacted me in a positive way and my teachers have inspired me to work for psychology even more. I enquired some of my classmates why they chose psychology as their major, I got so many answers. Many of them said the subject seemed interesting. My take away from this answer is that when you really understand what psychology is, it’s a very fascinating subject to study. Some were interested because they were medical students and psychology is actually very helpful in the medical field. Also, I got so many sad answers- some of them themselves have been/ are sufferers of some kind of mental health problems or have someone they know suffer which built their interest in the field. They are even more interested in studying the subject as psychology isn’t only limited to those aspects but also has a wide range of fields of study. For me, the initial reason I started to become interested in the field was the same too. Attending psychology classes, interacting with teachers, learning about various scopes of psychology and attending few workshops, I have learnt that there are many sectors to work in even within the field of psychology. It is such an amazing thing to have wide scope but also it has created confusion in me as to what particular field I want to work in. The scopes are in clinical psychology, counselling psychology, educational psychology, social psychology, industrial psychology, cognitive psychology and SO many more. Even though this has made me confused I am very glad to have a variety of different sectors to choose from. I believe I will be able to explore my interests and learn about all the different things and finally be able to figure out what sector I want to choose.
– Rakshya Khadgi ( She is an intern at PNN currently)