Q: How did your experiences in the CHANGE Lab lead you to where you are today?
Obviously it solidified the fact that I love pediatric psychology and I want to work with children and I want to work within a community based setting. I think that really stuck out when I was on the SOAR project just because we were doing interviews with caregivers and their children. I think it helped me have a lot of empathy for different populations and have curiosity about the gap of resources.
Q: How did your experiences in the CHANGE Lab prepare you for where you are today?
I will be 100% honest, this fellowship is clinically focused, so when it comes to research and that aspect of it, I haven’t used that much within the fellowship. But I will say, the team environment that Dr. Thurston has created and how much she trusts us and believes in us and gives us chances has really prepared me to be the student, mentee, and person that I am. Just like being on top of my work, how to communicate with my supervisor, and just being a good student, I think that’s how it prepared me.
Q: What advice would you give your younger CHANGE Lab self?
I think I felt, like I kind of mentioned before, being at A&M I sometimes felt alone in my journey in psychology so when I finally came into an environment where it’s strictly like that, I felt a lot of imposter syndrome so there were a lot of moments where I felt scared to ask for help or had questions because I was like “I should know this” or “everyone around me knows these things but why don’t I? But I think I would tell my younger CHANGE Lab self “it’s okay if you don’t know something, ask for help” because it’s like so cliche when you hear it all the time but like things snowball so when you catch it from the beginning, it will set you up for more success and you’ll learn more that way, so I think that’s something I definitely would have told my younger CHANGE Lab self - it’s like, you won’t know everything and that’s perfectly okay, you just have to ask for help.
Q: Is there anything else that you think would be important to share?
I think ideally, all of us really would love to go to grad school right after undergrad and we think that’s the best scenario but I don’t know, for me at first I was like ‘Ugh, I can’t believe I’m not going to grad school, I’m going to have a gap,” but I don’t even like calling it a gap because I’ve learned so much, I’ve gained so many more skills, and met so many people and resources and also, if I had never gone through this fellowship, I would have never opened my eyes to other things within this field. Now I realize I love medicine and I love therapeutic treatment and I’m going, hopefully, to med school. Everything happens for a reason and I love the path that I went on so I would just say don’t put so much pressure on what you think is right because everyone has their own timeline and path and you’ll meet certain people along the way that guide you to different things. I can’t imagine anything happening any differently.