“My brother and I are both adopted. We were adopted from different families, and he’s younger than me so obviously we were adopted at different times. It’s been interesting being raised by two parents who are very cohesive, and then growing up and seeing parts [of my brother and i] come to light that are very different from each other and our parents. When I was a little kid I wanted to be an actress, or designer, or something creative, but once I started noticing these individual differences I realized that psychology could be pretty cool… and so ideally, my plan is to go into psychology, focusing on adoption—particularly on therapy/counselling of adopted kids and families.

[Psychology] teaches me to be self-aware and know that my friends and families do things because there’s a reason behind it, and that’s okay! But it also allows me to know that not everything is set in stone and there are ways to fix things.

I think it’s very important for people to understand the psychology of raising kids. The things that you can do to your little, tiny baby can potentially set them up for a good path or screw them up for life. I feel like there are already parenting classes about how to physically look after kids, but there needs to be less taboo on actively learning how to emotionally raise your child every step of the way. My parents have been to many presentations on how to support a teenager, but what about learning how to raise a nine-year old, before they even enter the terrifying world of being a teen?

I feel like we focus on either babies or midteens but there’s a massive growing period between those two times that should be talked about more. I know a lot of people in my life who maybe didn’t have the best upbringing. And whether that be either adults, friends, or acquaintances, there were such obvious things that could have happened to change it, but nothing got put into place…

[In high school,] I wish we learned more about emotional regulation. How come I learned how to sew when I was 13 but I didn’t learn how to be a human? The skills that you learn from taking psychology courses and from being immersed in that world, that should have been taught.”