I declared my major in psychology my sophomore year after observing the impact that mental illness has in the college-aged population. I have always been fascinated by the study of the mind, and from a young age, I fostered a strong inclination to help others work through their struggles. When I came to college, the need for mental health professionals became so apparent to me. In a society that promotes healthy living, psychological well-being is often downplayed. I have chosen my course of study because I believe that mental health is just as important, if not more important, than physical health.
I myself was diagnosed with major depressive disorder my senior year of high school. Throughout my adolescence, I held myself to extremely high standards in terms of my achievements. In my mind, if my performance (whether it be on a test, in a sports game, or within social roles) was not the best, then I had failed. This toxic mindset sent me spiraling into two years of feeling so low that I could no longer carry on with my normal lifestyle. I no longer saw the point in all of the activities I used to engage in and I lost any of the joy that used to accompany my achievements. The spring of my senior year in high school, I chose to seek out help and was so fortunate to have clicked immediately with my therapist. She helped to talk through the unhealthy cognitions I had held towards attaining success and brought me out of the dark place I had been in for what seemed like forever. It was not easy to change the mindset that I had been stuck in for the past five years, but with the help of professional psychologists and psychiatrists, I was able to overcome these irrational, maladaptive thinking patterns and ultimately start living again.
I hope to be able to assist others in the way that I was helped during my time of mental strife by graduating with a degree in psychology and pursuing further certification as a mental health counselor. Having someone who listens and understands, who is willing to take the time to figure out the best course of action, and who will advocate that mental illness is just as disabling as any physical illness is critical in times of emotional stress. To become a licensed clinical professional counselor would mean I get to play a role in supporting those who feel like the world has given up on them. Being able to provide a positive impact in the lives of patients who feel emotionally and mentally unsteady, the way I and millions of others have felt at some point in life, would be the most intrinsically rewarding career path to follow. Graduating with this degree will enable me the opportunity to touch countless lives and hopefully eradicate some of the stigma surrounding mental illness.
We are proud to announce Lucy Rawson is one of the current JustJobs Scholarship finalists. Vote for her essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘heart’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.