I ambled into my first day of classes at CU an undeclared eighteen year old with a background in meteorology. My father, a meteorologist, encouraged me to study weather but I knew that I wanted to work with people. Weather doesn’t fascinate me; people fascinate me.
What I did not expect was my life to be changed when I walked into the first day of my general psychology class. I felt as if the teacher in the front of the room of 300 students looked me straight in the eye and said ‘You don’t want to tell people what the weather will be like tomorrow, you want to actually help people, you should be a psychologist’.
And then it hit me like a sack of bricks; I had been conducting my first case study my entire life. Both sides of my parent’s families were littered with cases of schizophrenia, alcohol dependency, adultery and suicide. Some people may think psychology and neuroscience are not important in the world of science. Our brain is everything we’ve got, think about it (see what I did there?) you’re using your brain right now to read this blog post and you’ll use it later to figure out what you’ll have for dinner. Our brains can make or break us. When the mental state of a brain goes south it can and will break a person. I’ve seen it first hand throughout my childhood whether I’ve recognized it or not.
Another thing that drew me to science is how relatable all of the fields are to each other. Carl Sagan, a late American astronomer said it perfectly in his book The Demon-Haunted World, “Some of science is very simple. When it gets complicated that’s usually because the world is complicated – or because we’re complicated”. Sagan is correct in saying that science is simple; but what drew me to Psychology is how complex the human brain is.
My position as a scientist is to help people with mental health issues. It’s hands on work and you can see results in helping patients feel good about themselves by having a sound mind. That is what drew me to the subject, plus, weathermen only have to be correct 25% of the time (sorry, dad).