Currently pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical/counseling psychology at the University of South Alabama, Matt Kridel ’14 reflects on his time at Gannon and plans for the future.
Looking back, how did Gannon prepare you for where you are now?
Gannon prepared me for where I am now in two big ways. First, my incredible education began in the classrooms and the labs. My psychology major and biology minor allowed me to not only get into a Ph.D. program, but to be successful in it. I cannot say enough good things about these two departments. The teachers are not only knowledgeable about their fields, but invested in their students learning and gaining experiences.
Second, my education also continued in the real world, from clinical environments to the theatre to Edge to everyday life. Gannon (and Erie) provided a wealth of opportunities that not only nurtured me as a future psychologist, but as a person too! I was able to pursue almost everything that made me unique. And knowing who you are and being able to show it to other people is an invaluable skill.
What are some of the things you miss or don’t miss about Gannon?
I certainly miss the conveniences, like easy printing and living in the same building as friends and being within walking distance of everything. And the abundance of theatre. And, of course, friends. Can I say I miss everything? It’s kind of true. After almost any experience, especially college, you’re going to look back on everything, good and bad, with nostalgia. For example, I was reminiscing the other day about late nights walking the streets of Erie in the middle of winter. In the moment, I couldn’t wait to get inside and get warm. But looking back, the stillness and beauty is what stands out.
What are your plans moving forward?
I’ll be in school for at least four more years, plus a year of internship. Then possibly two years of post-doc before finding a job! The end goal is currently either academia or being a college counselor, but who knows what’ll happen between now and then! I certainly did not expect to be where I am when I started at Gannon, as my blog on Edge testifies. I keep reminding myself to stay in the moment and to take things day by day. But as long as I can have psychology and theatre in my life, then I’ll be happy.
Given the chance, would you return to campus for a visit?
Absolutely! I visited twice over the summer and I already would’ve visited again if I didn’t live in Alabama. And I’m already planning for my next visit(s) in November and/or December and/or January. A lot of my desire to visit has to do with the friends that are still there. Eventually, they too will graduate and move on, but I’ll always be happy to go back to my second home. And who knows, maybe one day I’ll end up working and living there again!