Newzaira Khan wants to change the world for the better.
With so many people struggling with substance abuse around the country, Khan wants to touch the lives of those who are suffering and help them cope with their issues in other ways.
As a UND psychology student, Khan is learning firsthand how she can help those in need. Along with an internship where she leads individual and group counseling sessions, she is on the fast track to helping people make changes in their lives.
“I learned from UND that with drive and motivation, anything is really possible,” she said. “You can find yourself.”
When she arrived on campus, Khan thought she was going into pre-med. But after taking a few classes, she found out it wasn’t for her. She then focused her studies on psychology and fell in love.
“Psychology is very different,” Khan said. “It has an emphasis in biology. It has an emphasis in emotions. And I really liked how you could learn more about behaviors and more about people and the diversity that comes from people.”
Now studying psychology, with an emphasis in chemical dependency, Khan is helping people deal with their substance abuse issues and find a path to sobriety. These real-world experiences in college have helped her hone her craft and become the best psychologist she can be.
“It’s different when you’re reading about it and then when you’re working with people who have chemical dependencies,” Khan said. “You’re hands-on. You’re learning about what their background is, if they have mental health histories, if they have physical health problems, if they have spiritual deficiencies. You’re learning about what makes them whole as a human being.”
Khan, a Riverside, Calif., native, said her experiences both in California and North Dakota will help her in her future career. She hopes to work as a counselor in a community that has substance abuse and poverty issues. She said it’s there where she can make the largest impact.
“UND helped me grow and learn different approaches in life,” she said. “Coming from a big city, I was exposed to different things living in a city life, and then I was exposed to different things living in Grand Forks. I took this experience as a way of knowing that everything is adaptable and that you can grow anywhere you go.”