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There are little things as scary as a brush with death. I had a close call as a young child, one that landed me a ride in an ambulance and a visit to the emergency room. Blunt trauma and impact seizures, usually are not very forgiving. Only by having my eyes opened by knowledge of the world of psychology did I realize how truly lucky I am to have survived with no brain injury. From a very young age I learned of the endless doors that are opened by the study of psychology whether intentional or not. By the time I reached middle school I knew my future held a profession in psychology.
As I developed from a student and evolved into a college graduate my path twisted and mingled with a variety of social sciences but always returned to psychology. While studying at *** I earned a Bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in psychology. For me, the field of politics is one of the greatest forms of psychology. Niccolò Machiavelli’s famous work, The Prince helped me realize how linked every aspect of society is to psychology. Subconsciously I began evaluating everything, finding psychology embedded everywhere I looked. While living with a business major I even got into evaluating commercials and marketing strategies which led to spending a couple years working for a marketing company and developing and directing a marketing organization for another. However, simply understanding target audiences and analyzing strategies was not enough for me.
My mind often questions and evaluates the "whys" and "hows" of life around me. Originally, I believed social psychology was my calling, interaction and reaction to social norms inspired my thinking and I longed to learn more. After learning about the suicide of a hometown friend and the accidental fatal drug overdose of several friends throughout high school my focus was pulled into realm of social issues. Because of this, I have looked to gain hands on experience as an undergraduate research assistant for multiple labs at ***. In *** Social Diversity Lab I have learned about discrimination and the pains and triumphs it must overcome. This experience along with several key psychology classes has helped me explore the different styles of psychology with a more focused lens. The concentration in my psychopharmacology class helped motivate me to look deeper into the division of neuroscience. I started working in *** Temporal Dynamics of Attention and Memory Lab, to get a better understanding of neuroscience and hands on practice with EEG machines and analysis. I aim to utilize the combination social psychology and neuroscience in a career that will help others overcome or cope with social pressures. My involvement as a volunteer at the reception desk at *** Medical Center ICCU I have learned how to adapt to the quickly changing environment that comes with working in a medical field. It had also helped me advance my ability to take charge and act professionally in critical situations.
To me, life in psychology is about helping people, whether with research, teaching, counseling, or just being a good role model. Because of this, I have worked to become a certified substitute teacher for the State of Iowa. By working through classes and research labs along with personal experiences I have resolved many questions that I have asked. However it seems each time I find an answer a new string of questions comes flooding in. I am sure that graduate school will open doors to a place where I can search and find answers that lead to questions that can help advance the future of psychology even if only for one person.

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This personal statement was written by AudreyN for application in 2012.

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