Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pick a Job, any Job

Today I feel like I hit a wall.  I feel like I've known for a while now what I want to do with my life.  At least, I knew I wanted to do something in psychology.  Before it was counseling, then it was clinical, and now what?  Well, I've become so passionate about women's issues that I realized I need to incorporate this and other social issues into my career.  But psychology is focused mostly on the individual and I'm talking massive social change here.  Is there a way to incorporate the two?

I'm going to come back to my personal career struggle later.  I think this is a problem for a lot of young people in college.  We go through high school, putzing around, maybe trying to get good grades, but with little direction.  Suddenly, in college, we have to pick a major - out of thin air sometimes.  Then, if we want a higher degree, we have to specialize even more, which can be a nightmare if you have ill-defined interests or very general ones.  So if you have broad interests, how do you pick a specialty?  The career world, at least from my perspective, seems a lot more specialized and specific than I ever imagined before college.  

Really, I think most kids are ill-prepared for making these decisions.  It's like going from a kid with no cares, to suddenly being a full-fledged adult who has to make life-altering decisions with little help (like career decisions!) and who is responsible for those decisions and all of their actions (many of which had few consequences for them as a kid).

College is a beautiful thing.  We grow and change, open our minds up to new ideas and ways of thinking about the world.  But in the midst of the bombardment of new ideas and developing interests, we have to figure out a very narrow set of interests which we will pursue for the rest of our lives!  No pressure, though.  It drives me a bit crazy some times, honestly.

So what do I want to do?  I want to be a part of social change for the poor, for women, and for minorities.  I want to work with people in therapy.  I want to give tests, do interviews, get creative in therapy with writing, art, and a bajillion other things.  Is there any way I can put all these things together?  

Earlier I was thinking of other jobs I could do regarding my social interests - politician, sociologist, social worker, experimental psychologist, journalist, professional writer.  But I have this hesitancy to leave the field that I've come to know and have fallen in love with.  Do I really want to start over in a completely new field?  I don't think I do.  Because I really do love psychology.  And a search earlier today has given me some hope.  There's a program at BGSU for clinical-community psychology, the description of which perfectly describes me.  

I feel excited about the thought of this program, but these Ph.D. programs are ridiculously hard to get into.  What if I don't make the cut?  I'll have to keep searching for other programs that fit.  And trust my decision, and my abilities, in the end.

Songs/ albums I listened to while writing this:  Haunted by Holly Brook, Death Cab for Cutie (Plans)

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