‘I wanted to continue expanding my horizons’

UTA Q&A: Student Bobby Lawrence pursues his dream of being a family counselor

Tuesday, Feb 27, 2024 • Cristal Gonzalez : contact

Bobby Lawrence
When Bobby Lawrence moved to Texas from the south side of Chicago, The University of Texas at Arlington caught his eye.

“When I was researching colleges, I realized that UTA was very diverse,” said the sophomore psychology major. “I wanted to continue expanding my horizons and surround myself with different cultures and people with different backgrounds.”

In this UTA Q&A, Lawrence shares his career dreams, why he chose his major, and the secret to his success as a student.

Q: Tell me how you became valedictorian of your high school class.

To be honest with you, I don’t attribute becoming valedictorian to being the smartest person in the class. I attribute it to being the hardest-working person in my class because I know there will always be people who are smarter. I was the most consistent and put in the work. I think of myself as the hardest-working person in the room and coming to UTA really shinned a light that as long as I hold myself accountable and keep being consistent, I can achieve anything.

Q: When did you first know you wanted to study psychology?

I decided to change to psychology because I wasn’t feeling fulfilled. I like listening to people and helping others with their hardships. One of my goals is to become a school counselor and help young adults. Eventually, I’d like to become a family counselor and support families.

Q: What do you like about helping others?

When I lived in Chicago, my grandma would have me and my little brother go to her church to help our community members. From that point on, I knew I really liked helping people. Now what I try to do most is listen to others and be a resource for someone in need of guidance. Right now in one of my classes, I’m going to be a peer mentor guiding others. I like how it’s an opportunity to keep helping more people.

Q: Why is mental health important to you?

In this day and age, our generation has really emphasized how crucial mental health is. Older generations are known for suppressing their feelings and not acknowledging their emotions, especially Black males. I want to continue advocating for people to express their emotions and know that it’s OK to not be OK.

Q: Who is someone that inspires you and why?

My grandma. She’s not with us anymore; she passed away last year. She inspires me due to the fact that no matter what she was going through, she always kept a smile on her face. She was resilient. She was extremely sick, and she was in a wheelchair for a long time, but she also kept her smile. I really admire her tenacity and her ability to keep going. I use her as a guide in my life on how I should be every day.