I created my interdisciplinary program Juvenile Justice and Mental Health, based on the idea that I wanted to work with Juveniles and I had an interest for Criminal Justice and Psychology. Originally when I began school, I wanted to be a Social Worker but I realized quickly in my first semester that I wanted to do something that pertained more with Criminal Justice and Psychology because those were the fields that I was most interested in. When I transferred to Plymouth State University, I didn’t like being just a Psychology Major and I had felt that it was already too late to switch programs until my friend came along and told me about Interdisciplinary Studies. I loved the idea of combining multiple disciplines into one program and taking charge of your own education.
Through Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies, I learned what it meant to be a interdisciplinary student and also read multiple article within our online textbook Interdisciplinary Studies: A connected Learning Approach such as, The Big Terms that goes over the terms needed to understand our major and Why Openness in Education? that opened my eyes to the fact of how much students were actually spending on textbooks a year.
Moving along to this semester and taking Interdisciplinary Studies Senior Seminar, and having to do a Applied Project and Research Article was rough but fulfilling at the same time. Out of the two, my Applied project was the easiest to do because it was something close to my heart. For my Applied Project, I decided to do care kits for homeless people and donated them to the Bridge House just in time for Thanksgiving. I decided to do this project because I wanted to do something that would benefit the community and I also wanted to get youth involved in the process. I successful had to youth volunteers that helped to the care kits and it was a good way to give back to the community. Not only for me but the two young men that were involved too. This contributed to my education because I got do something that felt natural to me and related to the field I want to work with. I got to involve youth that I work with as well and got to see that we can make a difference with such a small gesture.
My Research Article was a rough one because I kept changing my topic. I ended up doing a Research Article on How Much Do We Really Know About Juvenile Gangs? and this article was to bring awareness on an issues that not many people are familiar with. Part of the article is interviews of people that were and/ or still are in gangs and their stories on how they got involved. This topic is important to me because like said before, not many people know much about this topic and it’s a good way to bring awareness along with it’s something that relates to my field of interest. This contributes to my education because it gives me an inside of what I should expect when furthering my education.
I’m very happy that I decided to switch into Interdisciplinary Studies. Not only am I graduating early because of this program, but I have learned so much in the short time since I switched. This program has strengthened my interest in Psychology and Criminal Justice and because of this program, I was able to do an internship at Becket Family
Service who as such then, employed me. Everything that I have learned within this course and program, I will be taking with into my career and maybe even into my Master’s (if I decided to continue on). Because of IDS, I have a new perspective about education and I’m excited to continue my journey.