"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."
— Helen Keller
The Beauty of Audacity
During my junior year I decided that as part of my summer experience I wanted to explore interests outside my declared undergraduate major, which is psychology. Thus, I engaged myself in a search for opportunities related to government, policy and international relations. I found a great organization in Washington D.C that was offering a seminar on “Women and International Policy” and registered for it.
This was one of the best decisions I have made in my undergraduate academic career! The seminar exposed me to the world of policymaking and connected me with women leaders who became inspiring and empowering mentors for me. However, after the seminar finished I was bewildered as to how could I connect this newfound interest for policy with my psychology career.
Prolonged periods of reflection that followed this experience helped me elucidate the career dilemma I was facing. On one hand, I acknowledged my passion for psychology and interest in enhancing my research skills within the field. On the other, I recognized the professional impact of the seminar, which sparked my intellectual curiosity about policy. Therefore, in my senior year, I decided to continue expanding my knowledge about psychology while giving myself the opportunity to explore the policy arena in more depth.
The decision to pursue a public policy minor and gain a better understanding of the policy process has been certainly challenging. I willingly pushed myself outside of my comfort zone by taking courses for which I had no previous academic background. As a recent immigrant, I completed most of my education outside the United States, thus my knowledge about American politics and history is scarce. Hence, moving from psychology courses in which I know I’m able to excel to policy classes that demand more effort on my part represents an unexpected turn of events on my senior year. However, I have not allowed this temporary lack of expertise on seemingly common knowledge historic facts to discourage me from diving into this exciting world of policy. Instead, I have attended multiple guest lectures, revised historical documents and immerse myself in spaces in which I can advance my understanding about American government and policy decisions.
This experience is both challenging and rewarding, for it allows me to take risks and be open to novel academic experiences. I’m certain that as I devise the next steps for my career, the knowledge and skills I gain through my exploration of policy and psychology will continue to be essential aspects of my future professional endeavors. This senior year academic adventure will be worthwile!