Rutgers University-Camden graduate student David Sherrell has turned his dark past into a bright future. Sherrell had previously battled addiction to painkillers, however successfully took the road to addiction recovery. After finding himself in a positive place, his curiosity took over, and he decided he wanted to learn about and study the links between pain experienced in adolescence and the later risk of alcohol addiction and drug abuse.
“I was in my early 20s, away at college for the first time, and feeling entitled to party and relax,” recalls the graduating Rutgers University–Camden graduate psychology student. “Alcohol was just a harmless, social lubricant – or so I thought – and I didn’t see the consequences of what I was doing until it was too late.”
Sherrell graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in clinical psychology, and then set his aim on a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Sherrell ultimately hopes to achieve a career as a clinical psychologist on a hospital staff, where he can provide guidance and recommendations to adolescents experiencing the pain and suffering that he has dealt with in his life.
“It brings a sense of purpose and peace to know that, when I look back on the needs that I did not meet for myself,” he says, “I will still be a part of making sure those needs are met for others.”
Read More about Sherrell’s journey to sobriety: Graduate Psychology Student Overcomes Personal Struggles to Pursue Career as Clinical Psychologist