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Choosing a College Degree: Why Did I Choose Psychology?

JC has a degree in Psychology. When not pursuing her career, she is following her passion for writing and writes on various array of topics

It is easy to feel lost and pressured when choosing a degree or course of study in college, especially if you have nothing in mind at first.

You may be eyeing at something but you are not sure about it yet, or there may be a lot of options to choose from, or you may have nothing in mind at all. This is happening to a lot of people. Trust me, it is normal and you are not alone.

This is one of the moments in our lives where our decision will make a huge impact on our lives and our future. Four to five years in college is not a joke, and landing in a course of study that is far from what we want is a lot worse.

Years ago, I also found myself in this situation. I considered criminology, architecture, and a lot of other possible degrees to take but not one of them feels right. Hence, I stopped picturing myself in the future and started thinking about the things that I want to learn about.

Mathematics is definitely a no. I love science but I want something new and different. This is how it started.

I took up a major in Psychology for college because it was new to me, and because I am curious about the human mind and behavior.

The word ‘Psychology’, much more its field of study, did not exist to me until my senior high school years. It was not my first choice for college because I was not aware of it.

A wide variety of subjects under social sciences were introduced to me since I decided to pursue the Humanities in senior high school. Among the wide variety of topics that we tackled, I got fascinated the most by the topics – personality, consciousness, cognition, mental health, etc. – under Psychology. This fascination led me to choose it as a college degree.

What exactly sparks the facination?

In the Philippines, it is a common notion that, if you were studying Psychology, you would likely want to be a mental health professional – it was either to be a guidance counselor, a psychiatrist, or a psychologist. On the other hand, being a mental health professional was not my personal motivation in pursuing the field. It became a consideration throughout my college years, but it was not the reason I chose to study Psychology.

My main reason for pursuing Psychology is that I am curious about people – how and why they do what they do. I want to understand how the human mind works, how we think, and how we come up with the behavior that we are doing. For years of college, this field of study did just that.

Psychology, as a bachelor’s degree, will introduce you to the basics and fundamentals of human cognition, personality, perception, emotion, behaviors, etc. It includes course subjects that will enlighten you about humans and their psyche and how these concepts play out in the real world.

Aside from this, there are a lot more things to say about Psychology as an interesting course of study. Three of these things are the following:

1. Psychology promotes a further understanding of humans as an individual.
2. Psychology opens an opportunity for personal growth
3. Psychology is a versatile field of study

Psychology promotes a further understanding of humans as an individual.

A Psychologist tries to  understand her client as an  individual.

A Psychologist tries to understand her client as an individual.

This is tied to my main reason for choosing Psychology. Our society had an unconscious preference for the natural sciences such as Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. After being immersed in a curriculum for basic education which focused on teaching the children of the hard sciences, Psychology opened my mind to the need to study us, humans, too.

I tend to put it this way, “It is important to study about humans too because it is necessary for a man of science to be healthy and functional physically, mentally, and emotionally, to continue their work on science.”

In medicine, medical students and professionals study human anatomy to fight disease and keep people healthy. In Psychology, psychology student and professionals study human behavior and psyche to understand human emotions, thoughts, and behavior. This understanding will aid in fixing a problem in case of distress or a possible disorder. Understanding ourselves better also helps us to be better and functioning individuals in our society.

Psychology opens an opportunity for personal growth

Personal growth.

Personal growth.

While personal growth can happen in and out of college and whether or not you are taking Psychology, Psychology courses can open a lot of opportunities for personal growth. Students of Psychology are being exposed to a lot of concepts, theories, and research promoting personal growth – such as positive psychology.

Psychology is a versatile field of study

Psychology can open a career in various settings - clinical, educational, industrial, legal, sports, and a lot more.

Psychology can open a career in various settings - clinical, educational, industrial, legal, sports, and a lot more.

Another reason that draws me to Psychology is its versatility in terms of its possible career pool. As a bachelor’s degree, Psychology can offer a lot of opportunities for future careers – the degree can be useful in corporate settings, education settings, and clinical settings. Psychology is also an umbrella term for a wide for a wide variety of subfields which will be given focus during graduate studies. A Psychology student can pursue a career as a guidance counselor, human resource personnel, therapist, psychiatrist, and psychologist – which can be a forensic psychologist, sports psychologist, clinical psychologist, developmental psychologist, educational psychologist, cognitive psychologist, social psychologist, and much more to list.

There could be more things to discuss but these reasons sum up the answer to why I chose Psychology as my college degree.

If you are currently thinking about a degree to consider for college, and these reasons fit you and the things you want for a college degree, Psychology might be for you. You may also consider other courses in the humanities and social sciences that might best fit you and your passion.

I am passionate about the things that I do not know, and one of those is how the human mind works and how we behave. This passion combined with my love to read and write fits Psychology. It is important to know that knowing your own likes, preferences, and skills can help you figure out a college degree that best fits you for college.

Sources (and additional readings)

© 2022 Justine Clayre Guiao