While some may think switching from a forensic chemistry major to a psychology major is very different, they’re actually very much the same. Don’t believe me? Ask alumni Megan Grove-Alaxson who went through this exact experience right after she graduated.
Alaxson graduated in 2001, and had decided to further her education at West Chester University, studying Forensic Chemistry.
“I have always been interested in true crime with a strong desire to be involved in helping the victims of crime,” she explained.
She further went on to talk about how in her senior year, she was given the opportunity to shadow/work with a forensic investigator and how this experience made her desire even stronger.
Despite this aspiration, she decided to switch her major to psychology in the spring of her freshman year. “No one ever told me the level of math needed prior to taking those classes and that I just wasn’t there yet.”
After earning her Bachelor’s in Psychology, she went on to work full time at a residential psychiatric hospital as a “mental health counselor/behavior therapist” for children.
She found this job rewarding and enjoyable, but it still wasn’t for her or where she wanted to end up. While still working full-time, she furthered her studies in counseling, earned her masters, and has been working as a guidance counselor at Avon Grove Charter School since 2013.
“I have to be okay with being a consistent, non-judgmental support even when that does not feel like enough,” Alaxson shared when asked about the most difficult part of being a guidance counselor.
As previously mentioned, Alaxson works at a Charter school, a school that many people don’t know much about. “We provide families a choice in what type of education is best for their child.”
In other words, charter schools give teachers the opportunity to design a curriculum that is built around the students needs.
Looking back over Alaxon’s life, it is easy to see the thread of common interest in all of her career choices–a desire to help others.
“The help comes in different ways. The ‘how’ you accomplish the help in each field is very different but the fields have a lot in common, too”
During her time in high school, Alaxson academically pushed herself to take higher level classes. She mentioned how she was proud of what she had accomplished in high school.
She also was heavily into music during high school. Although this was a major stress reliever for her, she never saw it as a career option.
“You name a group or organization having to do with music, and I wanted to be a part of it.”