How helping others fulfilled my pursuit of a psychology degree

Last Updated: January 03, 2023

How helping others fulfilled my pursuit of a psychology degree

Helping others isn't only a way to make other's life better, it is also a way to make your own life better. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and knowing that you have made a positive impact in other's life can be very rewarding. I have always had a passion for volunteering and ultimately helping others which is why I have been engaging in volunteer work since I was in high school. Choosing a psychology degree for my undergrad had always been my plan as it is one of the most rewarding professions there is.

Even though a psychology degree has been my lifelong dream, it is natural to sometimes question your choices which is why earlier this year I decided to take a break from my studies and spend my time in something more meaningful like indulging myself in volunteering. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and do something for people who are underprivileged and use my knowledge and energy into helping them in any way I can. After a lot of research and rethinking my decisions, I decided to do volunteering abroad as it would be a perfect opportunity to take a break from my life for someone else. I decided to dedicate my time to volunteering in a small south Asian country, Nepal. Traveling to Nepal was completely new for me, new people, culture, place, food, environment, and everything. I volunteered at a psychiatric clinic in the capital of Nepal which was an amazing opportunity. Not only did I get to practice psychology as an intern there but I also got to meet so many amazing people who taught me a lot about life. Working with people from different backgrounds, cultures, and lifestyles made me realize how much effect it has on people.

Volunteering gave me a chance to observe people, learn from them and eventually realize why they do the things they do. While there were many challenges, seeing other people make real progress and work towards their goals was truly rewarding. I worked together with professionals to help people realize their true potential which also made me realize that I can do so much more to help people in various parts of the world. I have always had a passion for research and interacting with people from different backgrounds has helped me tremendously to understand humans better.

I have always known in theory that psychologist work to help people change their lives and help them in doing so but seeing it with my own eyes made me glad that someday I will hold the same power. Helping others has not only made me feel better as a person but also made me realize a lot of things. It has made me realize how privileged I have been and helped me appreciate my life a lot more. Interacting with people from so-called underprivileged life made me want to help them in every way I can and made me think of ways I can make myself better so that I can help them more. A psychologist can help people in their decision-making process, and stress management and understand the reasoning behind their actions. We can also study their past behavior patterns to predict their future actions and help minimize problems. 

As a psychology intern in a psychiatric clinic, I worked closely with people suffering from substance abuse disorders, depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, etc., and helped them tackle their issues and make themselves better. I learned a lot during my time as an intern which will help me in my professional journey as a psychologist. The internships helped me realize how privileged I have been as I never had to hide or even feel ashamed about my mental health because the people around me have always been supportive. I realized that not a lot of people are that privileged and most people mostly suffer alone. I have begun appreciating my clients from whom even coming out and admitting that they need help has been extremely difficult so I worked extra hard to make sure they felt comfortable and safe. People still have misconceptions about psychologists and don't understand that we are there to help them in every way we can and definitely not judge them. I want to work closely with people who are struggling with mental health and help them to make their life better. It gives you a sense of accomplishment knowing that you have helped a person in changing their life for the better.

Helping others has helped me in my pursuit of a psychology degree. After indulging myself in volunteering works and internships, I have realized my dream and it has given me the strength to do better for myself and ultimately help people. I have always had a passion for helping people and a psychology degree is exactly what I need to give back to the society that has helped me grow. I can take my uncontrollable need to understand people and do something good with it. Someday I want to completely eradicate the stigma related to mental health and make a safe space for people to talk about their feelings without being judged. I got to know about my strength and weaknesses so I know exactly what I need to work on to be the best version of myself personally and also professionally.

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