Many enter their college careers with almost no idea of what they want to study.
This was hardly the case for Anna Osment, a graduating senior from Charlotte, NC, who was almost certain she wanted to major in psychology after taking AP Psychology in high school. Additionally, during a high school visit to Wake Forest, Osment met Dr. Deborah Best, a faculty member in the Department of Psychology, who Osment says made her know she wanted to be part of the psychology program and is still her inspiration to this day.
What she loved about Wake Forest as a prospective student was its combination of size and the liberal arts.
“I loved the fact that they make us branch out and try different types of classes and force to us get out of our comfort zones academically,” Osment said.
As a student on the pre-med track, Osment found her psychology major and accompanying neuroscience minor to be a great area of undergraduate study. “Psych to me kind of fits well with the pre-med aspect,” Osment said. “I think psych can be used in any field, but, especially in medicine, you have to know how to work with people and how people function.”
There were a number of things Osment loved about studying psychology, but her favorite aspect was being a member of the honors program because she was able to do her own research project with a faculty advisor. With the help of Dr. Dale Dagenbach, Osment compared cognitive functioning with levels of alcohol consumption among older and younger adults. Additionally, presenting this thesis project in late April of 2018 was among Osment’s proudest accomplishments during her time as a Wake Forest student.
To students coming into Wake Forest, Osment’s advice is to not be afraid to try something that sounds interesting. She also encourages new students to take advantage of every great opportunity the school offers. Osment says Wake Forest truly challenged her to know what she believes, and to be able to articulate it and to fight for it, which is something she hopes for of all her fellow Demon Deacons.
Outside the classroom, Osment is involved in a number of different extracurricular activities, including being a member of Alpha Delta Pi, volunteering at Brenner Children’s Hospital and serving as the vice president of the Wesley Foundation — a United Methodist campus ministry. One of her favorite memories, however, was studying abroad in Vienna, Austria through Wake Forest’s program at the Flow House because she was able to travel all over Europe, experience different people and cultures and also meet a number of Wake Forest students she likely would not have otherwise met.
After graduation, Osment will work as a medical scribe for a year while applying to medical school. There is a lot she will miss about Wake Forest including the close community and great professors.
“It’s such a community and you’re so close to everyone. Walking anywhere, you see somebody you know, and I’ll definitely miss that aspect,” Osment said. “Almost every professor I’ve met here has had such a strong desire to teach us but also work with us and get to know us. I will definitely miss that as well.”
One professor in particular with whom Osment built a strong relationship over her four years was Dr. Best. Speaking to the type of person and student Osment is, Best said, “I first met Anna when she was in high school and was interviewing at Wake Forest for a Carswell Scholarship, which she won. Over the past four years I have watched Anna grow intellectually, eagerly taking on the challenges she encountered in the classroom and lab. In my Honors Research Seminar, which is quite difficult (advanced research design, multivariate statistics), Anna was often the first to understand the more difficult statistical analyses. She loves challenges and is an exceptional problem-solver. Her ready smile, calm, engaging demeanor and quiet enthusiasm make her a delight both as a person and as a student. She is in the process of applying to medical school and I would be thrilled to have her as my physician one day.”