A quick note from Dr. Wong: Julia Wingard was a very quiet student when she first started. Guess what! She is now one of the most engaged, motivated, and active students you can find on campus! Her transformation in recent years has really impressed me. I have thus invited her to share her journey with us via this blog post.

Hello, my name is Julia Wingard and I am a junior psychology major. I was invited by Dr. Wong to write a blog post to document my amazing transformation at Stevenson.

Julia Wingard (’21 Psychology)

I have to be honest with you that my first year was rough. I actually did not start out as a Psychology major. I was majoring in something that my family had told me to, but soon realized that it wasn’t for me. I was very quiet, reserved, and anxious about nearly everything. I was struggling in my classes and other aspects of my life as well.

During my first year, I took PSY 101: Introduction to Psychology and fell in love with it. I then conducted some research about psychology careers and the courses that students need to take as psych majors. Finally, I decided to officially switch my major to Psychology. It turned out to be an excellent fit. I cannot tell you how happy I feel with this decision!

As I gained more confidence in my academics, I started to develop a clearer vision of where I was heading. I then experienced a change in my attitude and mindset…

  • Slowly but surely, I began to open up and raised my hand more often in class.
  • I met with instructors outside of class to learn more about their work. This landed to an opportunity for me to become one of Dr. Schurtz’s research assistants.
  • I became proactive in finding opportunities. Just this past summer I landed in a job through a program that was affiliated with Johns Hopkins University.
  • I was able to find way to hone my leadership skills. For example, I am currently creating my own service-learning project for one of my classes. I participate in various activities on campus (e.g., I am a member of Best Buddies and the new sorority on campus Phi Sigma Sigma).

I am very busy, but am learning so much through these various opportunities!!

Looking back, this shy, quiet, and reserved girl who always sat in the back of the classroom has truly transformed into an active and engaged student. It did take me a great deal of courage to step out of my comfort zone, but after all, it wasn’t that bad! I am now thriving, stretching my limits, and reaching my fullest potential. I can’t wait to provide you with an update about my next step after graduation!

By: Julia Wingard