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Creating Community

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Nathida Psychology Student

Meet Nathida, a psychology student who opened her world to new opportunities by developing a growth mindset.

After experiencing a sense of burnout that ended her high school journey early, Nathida began to miss learning and decided to return to study through the UniReady program. Although initially finding it overwhelming, the semester-long course gave her access to her dream of studying a Bachelor of Psychology.

Nathida has since found that studying psychology has both increased her theoretical knowledge and cultivated a heightened sense of self-awareness. Throughout her university experience, Nathida has developed significant personal growth, transitioning from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. This shift has enabled her to reflect on her desired achievements and determine the study methods necessary to reach her goals.

From day one of her university experience, Nathida has been refining her daily routine. Initially stuck in a monotonous cycle of going to university and heading straight home, she felt disconnected and lacked a sense of belonging. This feeling mirrored her earlier experiences in youth, where she felt the isolation and lack of support in not being represented in communities surrounding her, as a culturally diverse (migrant), disabled, and queer individual. Through her journey, it has become clear that a sense of belonging to a community is crucial in developing a solid sense of self. One pivotal day, Nathida decided to step out of her comfort zone, setting off a chain reaction that transformed her life’s trajectory. That choice lead her to recognise the profound impact of community on shaping one’s attitude, fostering a willingness to explore new opportunities and uncover one’s passions. By pushing herself out of her comfort zone, she came to realise that life on the other side was what she was missing. Over this journey, Nathida realised the importance of becoming a role model for disabled/queer/culturally diverse individuals and aims to ensure that the young people of today do not have to face the same lack of representation she experienced. She has since dedicated herself to building a community that empowers like-minded individuals to showcase their resilience and capabilities.

To become this role model to others has meant that Nathida has had to put in the work herself. Empowering young people that they are worthy of opportunities has meant that Nathida has also had to set an example and take hold of opportunities that present themselves to her. Last year she completed an intensive course in forensic psychology in Canada, where Nathida got the career confirmation she was searching for. Since returning, units including research and statistics have expanded her career interests, and she aspires to build a profession in academia, research, and professional practice one day. Her desire to work towards a research career deepened when she saw cultural gaps in academia and experienced culturally unsafe services. As a neurodivergent woman of colour, she feels a sense of responsibility and commitment to contribute to closing this gap to inform better professional practice. 

Over her university journey, Nathida has come to understand that the feeling of regret from not trying feels worse than whatever feelings you could get from ‘failing’ or being ‘rejected’. She has committed herself to trying as much as possible, and even if things don’t go her way, she now appreciates the learning and experience from it instead. Today Nathida’s daily life is immersed in community involvement, through dedicated time and practice she has been able to combine her passions for psychology and advocacy for youth engagement. In 2023, Nathida applied to become a 2024 Youth Week Ambassador and was rightfully chosen to represent WA’s youth. Since her selection, Nathida has MCed the 2023 WA Youth Awards, served on the Young People’s Planning Committee for the 2024 Youth Week KickstART festival, advised the Department of Communities on youth strategies, and will participate in various Youth Week events, media opportunities, and broadcasts with the Director General. This involvement has allowed Nathida to advocate her message to WA’s youth: to develop themselves, take up space, and find their place in the world, recognising the significance of empowering young people for a brighter future.

Being bold and taking up space unapologetically is Nathida’s biggest piece of advice for all. She attests that letting go of doubt and fear can magnify your ability to apply yourself. After personal practice, she has gained newfound confidence to approach opportunities that she has always dreamt of. She now eagerly tries new things and bravely works towards her passions, the 2024 Youth Ambassador role being one of them. Throughout this process, Nathida has learnt the most important thing is to be kind to yourself above all else and give yourself realistic and achievable goals.

Youth Week WA will be running from 5 April to 12 April, learn more here.

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