Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

I majored in psychology because I was interested in people. Besides the obvious (albeit true) cliché of wanting to help people, I was curious as to why people did the things that they did and the different types of treatments for various different diagnoses. These interests, clear to me even at the beginning of my senior year—were standard and impersonal; I had not yet realized how my own developing condition would make my choice to pursue psychology as a career a very personal one. During the second semester of my senior year I had to withdraw from my university after being diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa. During my time in an eating disorder treatment center, I gained a perspective not found within the classroom: I came to understand what it is like to be the client. As I developed coping strategies to handle my disorder, I also saw first-hand how debilitating illnesses can isolate us from friends, turn plans upside down, and dissolve any sense of control we feel over our futures. Over time, as I improved, I saw the pain of the struggling new clients, I understood it, and I wanted to help them feel the way my own treatment team did for me. I left the center with new coping strategies and a new intense and deeply personal desire to help those suffering from these illnesses, as I myself had been helped. Ultimately, the treatment center helped me to discover my drive to pursue psychology as a career. The people who helped me, gave me my life back, and in turn, showed me exactly how I wanted to help others.

Peggy from Alabama
Pepperdine University