I realized I am writing this eight months after my college graduation. There is much to say about this, so this is going to be a long post. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, and I simply would like to write about people's perceptions on having a liberal arts degree and being a psychology major.
ON BEING A PSYCHOLOGY MAJORTo be honest, psychology was not my first choice. It was dentistry. I had my heart set on inheriting my parents' clinic but alas, it was my very own parents who discouraged me from taking up that course. They said it in a manner which felt like it was so easy to find something else?? And so it took me months and many trips to the guidance counselor's office to try to figure out what I really wanted to do. It also made me think that what if dentistry was not really what I wanted, but I was just limiting myself with my options? I figured that if I wasn't decided with which course to take yet, I could try to focus on which school I wanted to get into.
I took daily visits to my preferred university websites to see what kind of courses they offer. It's good to take note of which courses they specialize in. It was during this time that I chanced upon the psychology program of DLSU. It seemed to be the most appealing program to me at that time, and so I placed it on my first choice.
It also took me sometime to do some introspection. At that time, I did not see myself as someone who was good with people, although I knew I had the genuine interest in people. I did not know whether this was enough, but it sure did prove to be the deciding factor in my decision to pursue psychology. Whether I am good with people or not, I knew I was going to learn a lot during the next years in college.
I saw psychology as a flexible course wherein it had different fields I could go into. True enough, it was! I think that is what I like best about psychology. You can choose to specialize on one field later on in graduate studies.
I chose psychology precisely because of those two reasons that were highlighted. This says much about my character, though. Truth to be told, I wanted to be good with people. When I say this, I mean that I wanted to know how I can deal with them, motivate them, and engage them positively and meaningfully. Also, I could say that three years ago I may not have been sure about what I specifically wanted out of psychology, although I am glad that since it is flexible, I could see how best I can be of service to others while staying true to my personality. I always think of what I can give in return from all the things I have learned and am learning.
Food for thought: What is your personality like? What do you think you can offer to help others? Where do your interests lie?
ON GETTING A LIBERAL ARTS DEGREE
Those who took up Liberal Arts were also seen as people who had more time in their hands compared to those who took up Engineering or Accounting, because those two courses were always viewed to have heavier workloads. While that could have some truth in it, belonging to the Liberal Arts college allowed me to participate in various organizations within the campus. It honed my leadership and communication skills. It gave me the chance to be a well-rounded person who actively sought her passions and excel in her academics at the same time.
LIFE AFTER GRADUATIONThere is still so much stigma and stereotypical posts I see online about being a Liberal Arts graduate. It's true, that while we all have the noblest intentions as we took up our course, it still does not change the fact that the world is highly competitive. There are many psychology graduates every year. It took me a long while to land my first job. While it's great that having a Liberal Arts degree offers so much flexibility, it can also be overwhelming.
But then I think it's normal to spend time finding what we really like to do. I learned that it's better to spend time knowing what I really wanted rather than entering a job that I knew I would dislike after a few months. In the end, I chose a Liberal Arts degree because I knew I had the passion, and I knew I wanted to grow that passion. It may not be specific as other courses such as Engineering or Accounting, but I am enjoying the process of taking things one day at a time with the future in mind.
But I'm happy whenever I see my batchmates who have ventured on to their different paths in life take control of their next step in life. Some have gone to the corporate world, some are preparing for the upcoming licensure exam, and some have gone to graduate school. I believe that what we all went through in the college of liberal arts helped to shape and challenge us for the next chapter of our lives.