It was difficult for me to find my footing and build my confidence in higher education. I came into the university as a first generation college student, entirely consumed with the fear of trying to pursue a path of professional studies. In all honestly, I had little to no faith in myself. It wasn’t until my sophomore year when a representative for the McNair Scholars Program gave a presentation to recruit new students into their program. It really sparked my interest in pursuing research on the intersection of Psychology and the arts, my two passions, and suddenly I was filled with an urge to apply. It changed my life forever. Today, I look back a few short months before graduation and revel that I will walk the stage at the top of my class, with a collection of successes and opportunities under my belt, all thanks to the McNair Scholars Program. It is astonishing to me the progress I have made in academia. From designing, conducting and analyzing my own undergraduate research to presenting at a national STEM conference and soon to be presenting at the Southwestern Psychological Association surrounded by successful and pronounced Psychologists. Before McNair I would have doubted my place in graduate school, and now I have been accepted to the Psychology Masters Program at Midwestern State University where I will pursue further research and am confidently thinking of my future in Doctoral Programs. Without the McNair program I would not have the desire to push myself academically, because five years ago an undergraduate degree was not something I saw in my cards. When all along I have been more than capable of pursuing higher education, all it took was a great community of mentors and fellow students to boost my confidence, which McNair has graciously given me.
By Kaylee Plowman SRSU ’19