Last week, I attended my first American Psychological Association (APA) Convention in Washington, D.C., as well as the Asian American Psychological Convention (AAPA). My first APA experience was pretty great and even cooler because two projects I worked on were poster presentations there (one was on a career exploration group for Chinese immigrant high schoolers and the other was about the cultural adjustment of Chinese immigrant youth). By the way, no I did not go sight-seeing because I was a major psychology nerd and spent everyday at the Convention Center takin in the research, searching for free food, or schmoozing at the social hours.
Going to APA helped me to be more certain that I want to get a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and become a reseacher/professor/clinician (or various permutations which are sure to change throughout my career). Being surrounded with so much exciting, socially relevant research and meeting so many brilliant, passionate psychologists made me realize that I love this field, and I feel like I really fit into this intellectual community. My mentor also inspired me to look past the wall of anxiety and fear between me and my dreams. Up until recently, I've always been so afraid to aim high in my goals, for fear of failure. But Jon and others around me have been so supportive and believed that I can achieve whatever I set out to do...I'm finally starting to gain the confidence to take some risks, and I hope that they pay off one day.
Okay, enough sappiness! Here are some pictures from AAPA & APA (more may be posted later!):