I recently wrote a blog post for the Britt Anderson Group about personal development in academia and what one could do with a psychology degree and coding skills.

I took two courses, An Introduction to Methods in Computational Neuroscience and Human Neuroanatomy and Neuropathology with Dr. Britt Anderson1, both of which are among the very best formal education experiences I’ve ever had2. I was also lucky enough to publish a paper with him. Very few people have had as much of an impact and influence on my work, personality, and intellect as Dr. Anderson has. I’m fortunate to have met him during my academic career, and was honored to write a post for his lab’s site. He was my mentor during graduate school without even knowing it.

The post is titled “What I Wish I Had Known: Advice from a Former Psychology Graduate Student” and you can read it in full here read it in full here.

That said, I wanted to quote the first and second-last paragraphs here, because they fit Take no one’s word for it pretty nicely.

I wanted to write about advice I would give my past self while completing my psychology degrees, but before that, I want to begin with a caveat: each person’s journey is different, and the more you can bring yourself to not feel the pressure to follow any person’s particular advice or prescribed steps, the easier it might be to find your path to what comes next. That was hard for me at first, but you get better at it the more you try.


This post included a lot of dry thoughts and recommendations, so let me end on a different note: the best thing you can do for yourself, no matter your goals or interests, is to realize that you can learn anything and get really good at whatever you set your mind to. It’s never too late, and the lack of formal training is no deal breaker, and might in fact make things easier. The hardest part is to start, and once you do, the second hardest thing is to keep a schedule of learning and practice.


  1. MD. A real doctor. ↩︎

  2. In the first I implemented the Hodgkin-Huxley model of the neuron in C and Excel (yeah…), and in the second I got to handle and examine brains, skulls, and human cadavers donated to scientific research. That last one was a profound experience. ↩︎