In my late teens, I was able to see patterns or categories appearing in the records I kept. Suddenly, I saw clearly, there were activities needed to get done before others, hurdles to cross and much research to take place before I could recognize my goals. I think that making such observations kept me doing the journaling. It also kept me inspired and motivated to continue doing what I was expending energy behind.
By now you will be recognizing that the process of journaling, or writing down the dreams you have and the possible steps to obtain such dreams, will go hand-in-hand with your achievements. I would like to now share with you the plan writing had allowed me to formulate. At this period of time in my life, I was coming to the end of my secondary school’s experience. By this time, due to the work that I was doing, that of journaling my thoughts and my expectation for the future, I knew it was coming near to another important phase in my life. It was true that from form four and into form five, among the academics we were also coached as to the various career paths available to us students. While this was done in a group I had a feeling that at least if I had a one-on-one session with my form teacher, I may have benefited the most. And so, I arranged to have a meeting with my form teacher.
The benefit of the meeting was particularly noteworthy. I was assisted with information pertaining to choosing of a university. Owed to out meeting, I was able to gain insight as to the financial cost and length of time it will take to complete the undergraduate programme. My form teacher also assisted me in understanding that if I wanted to be a psychologist or to get into medicine I had to go through a graduate programme.
Setbacks and reevaluation in my educational pursuit.
I completed the registration form and within a few months got a call that I was accepted by the University to study at the undergraduate level. Now in my written plans I had sort the fuse together psychology and biology and the correct paths that surrounded the two. Because of the courses I had done at the secondary school level, I was easily accepted into the natural science faculty to study biology. Keep in mind that I was also passionate about the field of psychology. So I enrolled in the psychology and sociology programme, in the Faculty of Behavioral Sciences. I began studying for the double major, Biology and Behavioural Science.
Almost at the onset, the courses in the biology program proved itself to be tough. I distinctly remembered two courses that made me feel like I was swimming against the strong currents of the Atlantic Ocean. Those two courses were organic chemistry and physics. Twice I wrote the exam for organic chemistry and failed. I remember sitting in the exam for physics and feeling like I was in a foreign country with the language I did not understand but needed to get around to find my way home. Like a lost child at the bus station, I almost cried.
Upon reflecting a way forward I made discovery which I may not have seen had failure not prevailed. A matter of fact I made a number of discoveries such as failure can happen, even in the midst of hard work and that sometimes fear and disappointment can have you questioning whether or not you should continue on the path leading to your goals. The one I will share with you though, had to do with the cognitive dissonance or confusion relating to a step in the plan that no longer fit directly with a particular career I talked I wanted to pursue. That was a career in neuropsychology or cognitive psychology. I looked at the career paths of the written plan I had made, my vision and what needed to get me there and recognized that I needed to reevaluate. What I noticed as to the objectives to choosing this career path aligned the more so to educational psychology. After speaking with my academic advisor, the decision was made to drop biology and continue to completion, the degree in behavioral science. Doing a double major meant that I would have had more course credits to complete, and therefore will have had to stay an extra year—providing I had made use of all the semester summer sessions over the years. Thus far I had already completed a number of biological courses and dropping this degree now, at least two years in, would have meant I needed to stay an extra year.
If I did not take the time to diligently record all the steps or processes needed to obtain my educational goals, I may have felt overly frustrated, which in turn could have dampened my view of myself. There many persons in life who do not have these set goals, who do not have a journal of their plans to referred too and can have their self-esteem or self-concept significantly affected should the failure prevailed temporarily. You do not have to fall into this category of persons who feel lost, not knowing where to go next because they had not written down clearly defined goals, and should reevaluation be necessary they are confused as to where to begin.