Lately, I’ve been thinking more and more about whether or not I should major in Psychology in college. I’m currently studying the subject in school, but I’m also thinking of taking Psychology courses at college. I love the subject and want to know more about it.
One of my favorite topics in Psychology is Counseling and Therapy, which we often discuss in class and is also a part of our syllabus this year. While illustrating concepts, our teacher often uses examples from her counseling sessions (while maintaining confidentiality), and if there’s one thing that I’ve learned from these examples and all the people I know on the internet – bloggers and writers and artists – it’s that there are a lot of sad people in this world. They’re depressed, they’re anxious, they’re stressed, they have low self-esteem and no hope of doing anything in life. No matter how much of an optimist I am, I cannot ignore these realities.
It’s when we discuss these topics, such as cases of depression or suicide reported in the news, I feel like I should be out there helping them. I feel bad for these strangers – most of them students – who’ve taken their lives because living had become unbearable for them. I wish I had know them so that I could’ve helped them. I like being happy but I also like to see others being happy – even if I’m having a bad day – because others’ happiness cheers me up. I don’t know why, but it does.
It is when I think of this happiness – of deriving contentment from other people’s joys, that I feel like abandoning the dream of being a writer, and becoming a psychologist. I sometimes imagine having a comfortable office that’s painted in soft colors and is brightly lit, and I imagine myself sitting on a stuffed chair while I listen to my clients and what they have to say, and I imagine them leaving my office feeling better.
But I also imagine myself sitting at a computer and banging away at the keyboard, trying to catch up with my thoughts running faster than my fingers. I imagine holding my first book in my hands. I imagine a small shelf in my room filled with books with my name on it.
I’ve known since class 7 that I want to be a writer, and the intention becomes stronger every day as I put another 750 words into the world. But I also have that desire to help people. Something in the back of my mind tells me I can do that through my stories too by giving words to what people try to explain but can’t, telling them they’re not alone. Comforting the disturb and disturbing the comfortable, as they say.
I know that I can do that, but somewhere that desire to be a Psychologist is still there. I’m not sure whether I really want to pursue a career in Psychology since most of the wishes I have are just that: wishes and not goals. Becoming a writer is a goal for me; a goal that I’ll never stop going after, but wanting to be a psychologist is a wish. Simply because I think that having that title would help me help people.
Luckily, this year I’ve got a chance to play the role of a Psychologist, at least partially. Our Psychology teacher has selected some of her students in class 12, including me, to help children at school with their studying, self-esteem and other issues. We’re to approach them as friends and get to know them and help them, without letting them know that we’ve been sent by her (she’s also the school counselor). The reason for this is that the children are often reluctant to approach her because of the fear that she will tell everything to their parents. Explaining to children that everything they say will be completely confidential is hard. So it is our job, as Junior Counselors, to help these kids. I’ve already started working with a girl who’s struggling with her studies due to self-esteem issues. Although we’re not really friends, we know each other quite well, and I think that would help me to easily make her comfortable. I’m quite excited to do this. Our teacher will be there to guide us, because, after all ,we’re not really counselors – just kids who know enough about psychology to help people. If not professionally, at least as a student I would be able to do something for others, and that in itself is quite a big thing for me.
We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone. – Ronald Reagan