I have always been fascinated by human emotions and behaviors, as well as the unique ways in which we interact with ourselves, others, and the world. I initially learned about a field that addresses these very phenomena—that is, the field of psychology—when I was in high school. However, I didn’t consider it as a possible career path until college.
As a second-year undergraduate student (with a completely undecided major!) at the Ohio State University, I discovered the specialty of clinical psychology, which focuses on ways to improve emotional and behavioral well-being. I was first introduced to this specialty during an Abnormal Psychology course, which I elected to take to fulfill a requirement. As the professor spoke about his research and clinical experiences, all of which were rooted in hands-on, collaborative empathy and creative problem-solving, I found myself thinking, “Wow! This is exactly the type of career I’ve been looking for!” With this enthusiasm in tow, I sought a research assistant position within my professor’s lab to learn more about how I could acquire the tools to help others more effectively navigate the emotional and behavioral hills and valleys in their lives.
Presently, I am pursuing a career in child and adolescent clinical psychology. I find myself drawn to specializing in this area because I am inspired by the potential for incredible growth among young people. Furthermore, I appreciate how empowering it can be for young people to access the tools of clinical psychology early in their development, as these tools are critical skills for building fulfilling and enriching lives. On a more personal note, clinical psychology also allows me to flexibly explore a wide range of my own interests and skills. Clinical psychologists wear many different hats—they are clinicians, researchers, statisticians, professors, and mentors. Additionally, psychologists tap into many different strengths (compassion, critical reasoning, diligence) and skills (writing, quantitative analysis, public speaking) to ultimately advance well-being and equity across individuals and communities. It is an incredibly rewarding career path that is rooted in empathy and humanity.
If you have a genuine passion for helping others, and you would like to pursue a career that allows you to harness your enthusiasm, curiosity, and compassion to reach this goal, clinical psychology could be a fantastic option for you!