University of Washington Essay

Academic History

My favorite quote belongs to an American journalist, Christopher Morley. He said, “There is only one success - to be able to spend your life in your own way.” My personal statement is about how I want to succeed in the calling of psychologist and why I believe that Washington University is a great place to help me achieve my dream. During my senior years at a secondary school, I realized that I do not have any long-term plans regarding my future. My situation motivated me to search my heart in order to determine a calling that I would like to devote my life to. Shortly after I began to seriously think about my future, I got involved in a number of volunteer and community outreach activities. In the course of my volunteer work, I spent much of my time being involved in educational efforts aimed at children and adolescents. That experience made me rethink my plans and future goals. I fall in love with working with children and teenagers. My volunteer work evoked my great interest in psychology, cognitive development, and application of techniques that foster intellectual abilities, problem solving, and conceptual understanding. I felt that psychology is a field of knowledge that I wanted to devote my life to. My passion for psychology withstood the test of time. At first, I got actively involved in a counseling club, Federation of Youth Group, psychology society, and a student council in high school. I received several awards, and my determination to study psychology became even firmer. I made a decision to build a career in the field of psychology.

I was accepted to Bellevue College in Washington where I studied psychology, natural and social sciences. My curricular choices and academic progress were affected by my desire to study psychology. I feel that my college studies developed my critical thinking, enhanced my knowledge of human development, and equipped me with stronger analytical skills. However, I decided to leave Bellevue College and apply to Washington University. I realized that in order to build a career of psychologist, I need to have a more advanced education. I believe that getting a master’s degree will make me better qualified to succeed as a practicing psychologist.

My Major and Career Goals

I chose psychology as my major because I am determined to become a highly skilled and knowledgeable psychologist and be able to build a successful career as a practicing psychologist in Hong Kong where there is a great need for psychological counseling services. I feel prepared to enter my major at this time. I believe that my personal characteristics such as being inquisitive, self-motivated, and patient-centered equip well both for studies and for a job of coping with stress and others’ problems and worries. I wish to apply my experience in practical setting in order to help people to cope with their problems. I realize that I have years of studies ahead of me before I will be able to reach my goal. Nevertheless, my aspiration to become a successful practicing psychologist motivates me to strive for excellence in my studies. I am convinced that the therapy of caring for emotional and psychological wellbeing of a patient is one the most important therapies that can exist. Thus, I look foi0rward to helping my future patients to reach their goals, achieve harmony in their professional lives and relationships with their loved ones and colleagues.

 

I am convinced that my studies of psychology at Washington University will help me to attain my personal, career, and academic goals. I believe that psychology courses of the University will give me an excellent preparation in understanding concepts as well as physical and biological basis of human behavior and teach to understand and apply scientific methods and frameworks for explaining human behavior in a variety of setting. I believe that the Washington University is a great place to receive high quality education both in practical and theoretical aspects of psychology. Finally, I find that the University’s emphasis on clinical, developmental, and social psychology as well as behavioral neuroscience, human perception, and cognition will provide a solid foundation for my future work. Therefore, transferring from college to University is an important step towards my future goals.

Cultural Understanding

As a Chinese student from Hong Kong, I believe that I am keenly aware of psychological needs of a local population. I know that many residents of fast-moving Hong Kong frequently experience stress and anxiety. The need for psychological services in Hong Kong becomes obvious when one looks at high rates of suicides and family tragedies involving mentally ill individuals in recent years. Ironically, Hong Kong lags behind the United States in the number of psychologists available to serve local people. While in the US, there is one psychologist per 3,417 people, there is only one psychologist per 18,047 residents in Hong Kong. There are only about 400 practicing clinical psychologists in Hong Kong. Furthermore, public hospitals have very few positions of practicing psychologists. The pool of available psychologists is very small as well.

Also, Chinese people are hesitant to seek treatment for psychological and mental diseases. For example, people who suffer from insomnia tend to see general practitioners, not psychologists, and prefer drugs to counseling. The fact that one out of two people with mild depression and anxiety disorder can be cured through talk-based, cognitive behavior therapy, rather than medication, indicates that there is a great potential for using counseling. Therefore, there is a great potential for helping people to avoid medications and their side-effects and use counseling to help with psychological problems. There are not enough psychologists in Hong Kong public and private sectors. Therefore, I hope to use my knowledge and make psychological assistance available to many more of those who can benefit from psychological services and counseling.