Javier Oliver, Catholic '23, is a Psychological and Brain Sciences major from Alexandria, VA. He shares why he chose to attend Catholic University, and what advice he has for prospective students.
Why did you choose to attend Catholic University and what set the Department of Psychology apart?
"There are three reasons why I chose to attend Catholic University. One is the proximity of the school to my house. I am a big mama's boy, so the need for me to be close to home was crucial in my decision to come to Catholic. It is also nice that I can just take the metro back to get a nice home-cooked meal whenever I have free time.
The second reason was that the university is in Washington, D.C. D.C. is home to a plethora of jobs, unique opportunities, and fun places to explore. You can never get bored in DC. I want to be in the medical field, and D.C. has some of the best hospitals nationwide, therefore allowing me the ability to get internships or early medical practice as a college student.
My last reason as to why I chose Catholic is because it offered me the opportunity to get a great education and play the sport that I love, football. When I initially came to Catholic University I did not choose to study psychology. I originally was a Biology major. I thought that this route was going to best set me up for veterinarian school in the future. A friend had recommended setting up a meeting with Dr. Goeke-Morey and the Psychology Department to see if I would be interested. As soon as I sent an email, I immediately got an email back. During our meeting, I saw how passionate she was about the field of Psychology and how deeply she cared about my current situation. That made me feel wanted and special. It felt like I had someone that help support my academic career. From that day on, the Psychology Department has welcomed me with open arms, and exposed me to topics that I actually had interested in learning. For that, I am forever grateful."
Why did you choose to student Psychology?
"I chose to study Psychology because when I was in elementary school I was part of a peer mediation program at school. This was a program designed to have selected students lead student-student disputes at school. We went through a training program at a local college where we gained the skills and abilities to handle a multitude of disputes. This made me feel like I was a part of something bigger than myself, and that it was my purpose on earth to help people. I have always been great at listening to other people's problems and trying to give them the best advice, so why not be a Psychology major."
What's been your favorite part of being a student at Catholic University?
"Being a student-athlete on campus has been amazing. Being part of a team where each of us has the same collected goal of bringing a championship to Catholic University is phenomenal. You build everlasting bonds with your teammates because we've done everything together. From the times we were freshmen going to study hall, to the long road trips to Vermont and Maine, you're making memories that will never be forgotten. Although the workload between school and my sport has been difficult and rough at times, it has taught me important skills that I will always use for the rest of my life like accountability, how to go through adversity, the importance of communication, how to prioritize and schedule important things vs. non-important things, and the importance of consistency.
I have got to say seeing Ms. Willie, the customer service ambassador in the Pryz, is also a highlight. There is never a dull moment when you interact with her. Her smile and the love she gives can make a bad day better, and a good day terrific. She inspires me to not dwell on the past, enjoy being on this earth, and be thankful for what I have. She's the sweetest person I've ever met in my life."
What advice would you give to prospective students?
"Be patient and enjoy the process. You are not going to come into Catholic University knowing exactly what you are going to do with your life. If you do, great, but you may change your mind along the way. You have four years to do whatever you want, so don't be scared to try different things, meet different people, and go to different places. Don't limit yourself to things you are comfortable doin. Expand, learn new things, and choose classes that you have an interest in.
Don't feel bad for prioritizing yourself above all things. This is your life, you only have one, so do what is in your best interest for yourself. Invest in your physical, mental, and spiritual health. Try new hobbies. Surround yourself with people who push you to be a better person and not enablers who just allow you to get away with things."