A year ago I was finishing up my second semester at community college and the pressure to pick a major was looming over my head. For as long as I could remember anytime someone asked me what I aspired to be in the future I just shrugged my shoulders, said I didn’t know, and moved on. Now that I was almost 19, this answer just didn’t seem to be enough and was met with more questions, and sighs that screamed judgment.
So I began thinking long and hard about my interests and what took up a big chunk of my thoughts. I had always desired to know why people ticked the way they did. If I could understand why people thought a certain way then perhaps I could figure out why they often did such terrible things, and then I could fix it.
With this in mind I chose psychology as my major. I began confidently telling people that my major was psychology and that I had plans to pursue my PhD and eventually become a clinical psychologist. The reaction of people changed dramatically: “Wow you’re so driven,” “Great for you,” etc. Here’s the thing I’ve learned from studying psychology though, there is no real concrete reason for the reason why people do the things they do. For a select few this is a problem with your brain chemistry and that being out of wack has in fact made you a complete wack. For the rest of us it’s nature, it’s nurture, it’s a hundred variables rearranged a hundred different ways over, and over, and over again. It’s questions met with more never ending questions. Each class I took felt increasingly frustrating as I continued to look for an answer that wasn’t there.
In the end I came to the conclusion that psychology, because of this, is probably not for me. I didn’t find my answers so I made up my own. People are always going to do what they want to do. Sometimes there are truly beautiful people in this world that we are blessed with. Other times people are painfully cruel. No one deserves a free pass in my mind though. I don’t care what has happened to you in the past, it in no way gives you an excuse to be cruel in the future. No one made you this way, you chose this on your own. Because if there is one thing I have learned it is that the mind is incredibly capable of making decisions, so take responsibility for yours.