Patch Sixteen – Program Update

Of all the roads I could have gone down in the ‘quest for myself’ throughout my college years, I never had imagined I would’ve evolved into the person and contract attached to my person that I am today. On curating my very first contract I really had negative ideas about what I really wanted to do. It was based more off of things I found interesting and wanted to explore. However, after exploring some areas of my original contract I found that I was not headed in the direction I had wanted to be following. I essentially wanted to become a Spanish interpreter for sociological purposes, like court translating, medical translating, and within family services. However what I did not discover right away was just how difficult the Spanish language is to acquire at such a high level as interpreters and translators are held. It turns out Spanish translators need to understand all accents, dialects and slang from all Spanish speakers from around the world!!! After finding out this information, I had little to no interest in becoming a Spanish translator. Not because I didn’t think I had what it took to become so prestigiously knowledgable in the Spanish language, but because I didn’t think I had the passion to embark on that journey for something I was on the fence about to begin with. I decided after this that regardless of the money I may be throwing away from taking my own route (court translators can make some serious $), I really wanted to find what set my soul on fire and then learn as much about it as possible. So, I then changed my major WHILE I was abroad and converted it to more of a communication focused program. I wanted to keep the aspect of discovering people’s stories and wanting to be able to document that adequately. I added in a bunch of communications courses into my major and then after about half of a semester of that contract, I decided to change it again. I realized that my two real interests are #1: people and their behavior, and #2: how we can explain that behavior based off of what resides in their brains. I believe now in this journey that I have found my niche (hopefully), and that niche would be social psychology. I am obsessed with how cognitive processes that govern our behavior in a social setting can be shaped by what has happened to us in the past.  Social constructs are one area I find gravitationally interesting because how we grow up, the sheer environment we know to be normal or abnormal from a young age can greatly influence our social behavior. As we grow as individuals and explore different sectors of life, how can the rigid social constructs that we grew up around and now reside in our subconscious decide the outcomes of our jobs, relationships, substance abuse issues, view of the world and it’s peoples and finally self perspective? Essentially it all comes down to our kids, and the kids of other countries. Children’s brains are like sponges that absorb information and emotion at such high frequencies. It is essential in my practice to study how children’s unique circumstances set them up for certain professions or personalities later in life. This also arises questions of: Is the American educational system that is in place in America most effective in delivering passionate people to the workplace and/or world? How can we compare the behavior of school children who only have their age in common? When do cultural schemas or religious apprehensions learned over the years come into play within daily actions/interactions?  How can we gauge the success of children when each of them are unique yet all being forced to succumb to the same educations? What can be implemented or changed in order for more progressive success to be accomplished after basic schooling? Regardless of how well these questions will hold up, it’s all brainstorming. I personally will probably not conduct groundbreaking social psychology research during this semester, but I at least wish to inspire others to think differently than the ways we’ve always known. I am looking forward to this term to actively appreciate each bit of knowledge I come across to help myself understand not only determine how others got to where they did, but to determine where I am going as well.

Photo by José Martín Ramírez C on Unsplash

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