CEBS Student Spotlight: Zachary Weddle
- Wednesday, March 9th, 2022
Full Name: Zachary Weddle
Major: Forensic Psychology
Graduation Year: 2023
Hometown: Hendersonville, TN
Why did you choose WKU?
Western Kentucky University has brought me opportunities not available anywhere else and has a community I knew would help push me in the right direction. They offered a one-of-a-kind Living Learning Community (LLC) program, which allowed me to live next to others also majoring in psychology, the PSYCH LLC.
Why did you choose your degree program?
Ever since I was young, I knew that I wanted to help others. While some go about this goal via the military, medical field, outreach programs, etc., I believe helping others through psychology is and always has been my passion.
What key activities/organizations have shaped your WKU experience?
WKU offers a plethora of activities and organizations, and I find myself gravitating towards the psychology club and monthly grocery bingo nights. Through these activities, I've been able to meet new people who enjoy similar things to me that I otherwise wouldn't have. WKU's Student Accessibility Resource Center (SARC) has aided tremendously as well, allowing me and others the opportunity to not only succeed, but strive for it.
How have you already applied what you are learning?
As a psychology major, I have applied learned concepts within my own personal life. I find myself better equipped to not only handle my own emotions and problems, but also to help those I care about when they are struggling.
What do you hope to do after graduation?
After graduation I seek to achieve a doctorate degree. This has been a life-long goal of mine and WKU has helped me learn the options I have to go about this.
What experience(s) have you had during your years as a WKU student that have helped or is helping you prepare for a career after graduation?
By far my psychology classes have helped me prepare myself for my future. The complex concepts and understandings of psychological thought and teachings have helped me realize just how vast our minds can be. With this knowledge, I find myself more capable than ever to help others through strife as I can show them how to rebuild themselves emotionally and mentally. Throughout my time here, various criminology classes have further shown me a path in which I would like to be of service. There are many difficulties within the criminal justice system as we know it, and potentially more in which we do not. I hope to find myself possibly leading change in this field through research and analysis, which I have learned how to do through my psychology classes.
What has been the best part of your WKU experience? Why?
The best part of being at WKU is the independence to lead one's own life without fear of judgment and expectation. I am free here to discover educational paths I before had no knowledge of. Along with my current education, I am learning how to manage myself and further myself as the adult I am. That is invaluable.
Are there any life experiences that impacted you in your pursuit of obtaining this degree that you would like to share?
Growing up I encountered individuals who suffered from various mental and emotional issues, including depression, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and panic attacks. I've witnessed some of the worst emotional states of others very early on in my life. Those experiences shaped me into what I am today and my academic interests; I believe that no one should suffer without help. After I graduate, I hope to assist others who may suffer from mental issues.
What advice do you have for future Hilltoppers?
Know that you are not alone. You have an entire campus worth of people willing to reach their hands out in aid.