Taking a Chance

And I was just wondering, what was the best piece of advice that someone has ever given you before?

Oh gosh, that’s a tough one!

I have another question if you prefer

I can’t think of a specific piece of advice someone’s given me, but I think something specific to William and Mary is that my advisor is always like “don’t be afraid to just go for things.” And that’s something that I was always really scared of because I’m like “I’m not qualified enough.” 

Is there a specific instance where you applied that here?

I applied for a scholarship, actually, this January for grad school which was really scary!

Wow!

Because I’m a junior, so I was like “how do I even know this is what I’m gonna end up? Doing this is really scary, but it worked out and I got the campus nomination! I’m just waiting to hear back.

That’s awesome!

I was like “there’s no way I’m gonna get it out of all the people here,” so I’d say it works out most of the time.

What do you study here?

I do psychology and I’m planning to do kinesiology and health sciences, as well, but I have yet to declare that 

Oh ok! Do you have a specific career in mind, or what made you choose that?

Yeah! I think I’m gonna end up doing research, probably, that’s something I got involved with early on at William and Mary so I really enjoyed it. It’s fun and you get to work with people, even though it kind of gets nitty gritty at some points. It’s not fun to just read other peoples’ papers, it’s fun to do it yourself. So that’s what I’m planning to do right now, but who knows. I don’t know where I’ll end up getting into, it’s pretty compettive.

What are some fun projects or research experiments that you’ve done before?

We did “Imagine Contact scenarios”, so it’s basically either a written or visual set-up that people  imagine interacting with someone, and for our purposes it’s a person with autism. Even just imagining contact reduces bias because it’s been shown that actual contact will reduce bias if you just imagine the conversation: “how does that affect peoples’ stereotypes and stuff.”

What about that specifically intrigues you?

I guess the application of it is what I like about it, it can have a real effect on people and on neurodivergent people, specifically. If it can just improve attitudes that quickly, it can be a really cool thing.

We’ve got a lot of good stuff! Are there any final things that you want to say, anything that you want other students to know, anything like that? I think a lot of people want to get into research too, so anything about that as well.

Yeah! I guess I would say one thing was that my freshman year, I had no idea how research worked at William and Mary, and it’s literally just as easy as emailing someone. That’s all you have to do. You find their email, you look at their website, and you just mention one thing about their website and they’re like “oh she knows about me,” and they’ll be more likely to email you back and give a good response, I’d say.

Awesome, thank you so much!

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