Victoria Ewing, who graduated from IUPUC with a bachelor of science in psychology in 2019, is well on her way to fulfilling her next big life goal: being a mental health counselor. Here, Victoria shares her perspectives on her IUPUC journey.
Why Choose IUPUC?
One of the main factors that went into me choosing IUPUC was cost. I didn’t want to come out of college with a degree and a mountain of debt like I had heard happen to so many others. I was able to get an admission-based scholarship that helped me reach my financial goal of graduating debt-free. Another factor was that I was able to finish my psychology degree at IUPUC and wouldn’t have to transfer universities. The last main factor was that I liked the feeling I got when I visited campus. I was excited for courses to start after I visited, the faculty I met seemed like they were caring and knowledgeable about what degree I wanted to pursue, and I liked that I wouldn’t just be another face in the crowd of hundreds.
My current career goal is to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor (LCAC) and advocate for harm reduction practices/build harm reduction programs in my community. I decided on becoming a LMHC after exploring different career options in the mental health field with my academic advisor, my professors, and my mentor and finding that being an LMHC fit my values regarding work with mental health. I decided on becoming a LCAC after earning my substance abuse certificate and working with adults in recovery while in my undergraduate career and finding a passion with this population.
Challenges and Triumphs
One challenge I faced in my undergraduate career was time management. I would often struggle with balancing my life outside of school, work, and school but learned different techniques and organizational skills to help find that balance. Another challenge I faced was experiencing my own issues with depression and anxiety. Even though these are still issues I deal with, I was able to adapt and learn ways to cope with these feelings after reaching out to the counseling services offered by IUPUC and working on my own self-care.
I am driven by my passion for empowering others and knowing that I can make a difference in another person’s life. I have been inspired by a few of my professors and their experiences as counselors and psychologists.
Advice for High School Students
I would tell high school students considering IUPUC to not write it off just because it isn’t a big university setting. There are lots of opportunities at IUPUC for academic and personal growth, financial aid, and events/clubs to feel part of a university community. I would encourage high school students to visit the campus and talk to people who have graduated from IUPUC to explore and make an informed decision on if it would be a good fit. To me, the main appeal of IUPUC is getting a degree from a recognized university with a lower cost and more personal experience.
Positive Reflections on IUPUC
One of my positive experiences at IUPUC was the willingness of my professors, advisor, and mentor to assist with the process of applying for graduate school. I felt supported throughout the sometimes stressful process and encouraged to achieve my potential. One of the great parts about IUPUC is that they offer a master’s program in mental health counseling that will help me achieve my career goals. I believe that my great experience in my undergraduate career has led to my success in the master’s program.
My last semester of junior year of undergrad I became a research assistant for IUPUC’s Social Neuroscience Lab. This experience was impactful because I gained more confidence and knowledge with research and developed a professional relationship with a faculty member who became my mentor. As a result of this experience, I participated in my own independent research with the assistance of my faculty mentors in the Social Neuroscience Lab and was awarded an Office of Student Research Grant to complete my study and present it at the IU Undergraduate Research Conference. I felt more confident after this experience when applying for graduate programs and appreciated my love for research more.