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Job Shadowing Made The Decision Easier

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“Within the first day at the hospital I knew I had no desire to be a physician’s assistant, and I started to pour all my attention into becoming a school psychologist.” 

When I graduated high school I thought I wanted to be a physician’s assistant. Looking back, I do not know why I thought that was my calling. I had seen a physician’s assistance for checkups and what not, but I had never shadowed or understood everything that they did. Fast forward to freshman year of college. I attended Georgia College and State University. I chose GSCU knowing that none of my close friends were going, but I thought that it would be an adventure. My first semester there, I declared biology as my major (however, read on and you will see that did not last long). Freshman year provided me with a mix of emotions. I was getting accustomed to the work load of college classes as well as trying to get involved on campus and make friends. I did dual enrollment in high school, so I had a lot of core classes out of the way, which caused me to be placed in harder classes that first semester. I was in Biology 1108, Chemistry I, World Civilization, and Pre-calc. Talk about a hard semester!! That first semester I really had to think about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I talked to my advisors and switched my major to psychology, not really knowing what I wanted to do with that degree. I completed my second semester freshman year much happier and with much more time on my hands since I was not having to spend all my time in the learning center getting tutored on chemistry homework!

Sophomore year I began to explore my options a bit more. I talked with my mom about career options and she suggested school psychology. I had never heard of a school psychologist before, as I never had to see one growing up. In fact, I do not think a lot of people are familiar with school psychology because when I mention it they always think I am going into school counseling, but I digress. To confirm school psychology was for me, I researched the position, conducted an informational interview with a current school psychologist, and also shadowed him for a day. After conducting this research, I thought to myself, “Well, might as well shadow a P.A while I am home to for sure rule that occupation out.” So, I went to the local hospital and set that up as well. Within the first day at the hospital I knew I had no desire to be a physician’s assistant, and I started to pour all my attention into becoming a school psychologist.

Fast forward to junior year. My junior year I decided to transfer to Georgia Southern University to try to get my foot in the door with the school psychology program here. When I arrived I set up an appointment to meet with the program director for school psychology, Dr. Dawn Tysinger. I discussed with her what I needed to be doing in my undergrad career to help me stand out from the other candidates, and she also helped assure me that school psychology is for me.

I am now in my second year of the program and am absolutely in love with everything about school psychology. I am so excited to round out my second year and begin my internship in the spring. Looking back, it was quite scary freshman year when I was having a “major” crisis. However, I would not change anything about my journey because it all landed me where I am today! If I had any advice for others, it would be to get involved and engage in some type of experiential learning because it can really help you decide if that career choice to right for you!

-Laura Veasey


Posted in Student Perspective