My story is a bit unusual – in Grade 8, 13-year old Monika decided when she went to university, she would study psychology. Fast forward nine years: In June 2016 she graduated from SFU with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in, surprise surprise, psychology.
When I look back to figure out what convinced my younger self that Psychology was The One, I come up blank. All I remember is trawling through Wikipedia articles of the various divisions in psychology – social, forensic, developmental, clinical - and being fascinated by them all. What made it so interesting was the subject matter: people. But I dare say most people have at least a passing interest in psychology, so what makes it right as a major?
For me, that interest in people was more than just a hobby. I knew that whatever job I ended up doing, I wanted to help others; in order to help others, you need to understand them. The more theoretical and experimental side of Psychology was the perfect complement to the courses I took for my Counselling minor, which emphasized the practical concerns in helping relationships. The huge variety of topics in these two departments only goes to show that human beings – and working with them – are incredibly complex.
I had my moments of doubt, when I wondered whether I had made the right choice in committing to a major so early and never straying from it. But when I reflect on my time working on my degree, I know that whether I was in a seminar on research in couples therapy or a lecture about diagnosis and treatment of children and adolescents with psychological disorders, I was always drawn in to the material and was excited about what I was learning, and that’s why I made the right choice. My degree in psychology may be finished for now, but my relationship with it is hardly over.
Monika Blat- FASS Engagement Programming Assistant (EPA) Spring 2017