You don’t have to have a long conversation with Emily Sihite to realize she’s a natural therapist. The senior psychology major listens actively and exudes empathy. However, once you start talking with Emily, the conversation is bound to become a long one.
Her people-oriented personality even shone through when she tried to decide which class was her favorite. “Research Methods in Psychology was one of the best classes I’ve ever taken,” Emily said. “But not because I loved the research. That class was the reason I found my friends, and we’re still all very close.”
In particular, she remembers a presentation for which she was grouped with two guys. “We caused such a ruckus!” Emily said. “We took so long creating the presentation and goofed off so much that we were physically exhausted by the time we were finally done. We actually all went out to a fancy dinner afterwards to treat ourselves and revive.”
Having a great teacher for Research Methods didn’t hurt either. “Dr. Holmes-Caines is my mentor,” Emily said. “I tell her everything. I’ve changed my grad school plans three times already, and she’s always so supportive and helpful.”
As of this interview, that post-graduation plan is to earn a child life specialist master’s and eventually a doctorate focused on child and family psychology.
“Many of my friends graduated last year, so I’m ready to move on,” Emily said. But she added she will miss her Union routine with its built-in social life. “I’ve found a good rhythm here. Getting breakfast at the cafe. Going to class. Studying in the library or Student Center. Here, I just go about my day, and I get to see friends without having to make plans or drive across a city.”
At first glance, Emily’s advice to new college students may seem odd coming from such a people person: don’t be afraid of being alone. “In 2017, I came here straight out of public high school,” she said. “I’d never gone to an Adventist school. I’d met a few people, but I wasn’t close with anyone. I had to learn to be okay eating by myself and exploring by myself.”
“I had the problem of literally attaching myself to anyone I met,” Emily continued. “Then I’d realize the person I’d attached myself to wasn’t necessarily the best friend for me. It’s better to learn to enjoy your own company than constantly feel driven to seek out others.”
— Scott Cushman, director of digital communication