Towards the end of my secondary school, I arrived at a phase in my life where I had to decide what program to take in university. I did some research. I looked at this and that. It was a little bit like trial and error phase.
I started from my interest (what I like) and I went from there, because if I want to do something as a career, then I want to do something that I enjoy doing, something that I care about, and something that I find meaningful.
My parents helped me a lot in the process. They pointed me to the right direction, to the best of their abilities. My dad knew that I like science so he suggested that I pursue Biotechnology because it has to do with science and at the time, it was a newly-emerging, growing field in Malaysia.
I thought about Biotechnology. To be honest, it didn’t excite me as much as I want it to, but the idea of it was interesting enough and since I couldn’t think of anything else at the time, I decided to go for it.
I applied for a scholarship to study Biotechnology overseas, got the scholarship, and was sent to University of Toronto in Canada after I passed my pre-university studies in Malaysia.
During my pre-university studies, I met this guy who is a Psychologist and he is the first Psychology person that I know of in my entire life. Psychology is not that popular in Malaysia so you don’t see that many Psychologists around.
I flew to Canada and did my first year of university from fall to winter (that is how one academic year is calculated). When summer came, instead of taking a 4-month long vacation, I spent half of that time in university because I needed an extra credit.
So there I was, trying to choose which course to take for that summer.
Whenever I have the liberty of choosing a course, I choose a course that is interesting to me. Whether the course is easy or not, it doesn’t matter that much as long as it is interesting because if it is interesting to me, then I will gladly invest my time and energy in it.
While I was figuring out what course to take for that one credit in that summer, I thought about the Psychologist guy I knew from before and I had the idea of trying out Psychology for a change. It looks like an interesting subject. I am slightly intrigued by it. So I decided to go for it.
I asked a few of my friends who took the course just to get an idea of what they thought of it. As it turned out, they hated it. They warned me not to take the course. Despite all the bad reviews I got from some of my friends, I took the course anyway.
It was the best decision that I have ever made in university because that course was the major turning point in my education and future career choice.
It was like you are trying to find something and you don’t know what that it is. But when you see it, you know that you have found it. Psychology was that “it” for me. As I sat in that class and listened to my Psychology professor, the things I learned resonate within me.
It feels right. It fits.
Psychology is the science of people and I realized that I really like learning about people. I think the word “like” doesn’t quite capture the feeling anymore. I love learning about people. I enjoy learning about people.
Long story short, after taking that introductory class to Psychology, I changed my major at the beginning of my second year after I received the approval from my scholarship and the support of my parents.
That is basically how I ended up taking Psychology.