Graduation Spotlight: Meet Batool Abbasi

Austin Community College District (ACC) celebrates more than 3,500 graduates at its fall 2022 commencement ceremony. Friends and family are invited to congratulate students Thursday, December 8 at the HEB Center in Cedar Park.

One of those students is Batool Abbasi. Batool is the fall 2022 Chancellor's Student Achievement Award recipient. Learn more about how Batool found her way to ACC after already completing a four-year degree and what is next after graduation.

Written by: Batool Abbasi

Tell me about your time at ACC: I am different from the typical ACC student but knowing the ACC community, that can be said about each and every one of us. I am actually a college graduate, having graduated from UT Austin in 2020 with a B.A. in Mathematics and Islamic Studies. After working in Sales and feeling disinterested in the work I was doing, I quit my job and decided to enroll at ACC to "try out" psychology classes.

Now a short year later, I work at a daycare center (a job I absolutely love) and have completed an internship and a research ship. I am about to graduate with an associate in psychology, and I am applying to graduate schools to get my Master’s in Mental Health Counselling. When I first entered the work field two years ago in the middle of the pandemic, I felt that all my best opportunities were behind me. But here I stand today! A proud Riverbat, completing the most professionally rewarding year of my entire career, applying to my dream schools in a field I hadn't even taken a single course in up until a year ago!

How does it feel to be graduating: I am so excited! I am currently applying to graduate school, and I have never felt so sure of my purpose as I do now, at the ripe age of 24! Now I can say with full conviction what I want to contribute to the world as part of my legacy, and graduating from ACC is my first step in entering the academia and profession of counseling psychology! 

What was your favorite part of ACC: The educational stimulation. Many young people who are post-college can relate to the lack of challenging perspectives and enriching knowledge that can affect us. We have been taught new concepts in multiple subjects every week since the age of 5 years old. Suddenly letting go of this educational enterprise can feel so stagnating. Every person, no matter their age or education, should keep enrolling in community college courses every semester. You will always have something new to learn!

Any faculty or staff you want to recognize supporting you: Dr. Shirin Khosropour. She was my professor for my Intro to Psychology class. She taught me so much about the role of psychology in guiding global conflicts and initiating peace and also opened my eyes to the ample opportunities available to me! Through her, I got my first internship at the Refugee Services of Texas, and she recommended me for a life-changing research opportunity at UT!

What is next for you: I am currently applying to Masters in Mental Health Counselling programs in schools across the country! My eventual goal is to become a licensed therapist and help people from all walks of life and backgrounds find a comfortable space to model their best selves! I am guided by the intimate knowledge of the self. We all become a self in response to situations, dynamics, and pressures imposed on us. Many of us develop a self-prepared for conflict and act out in a combative, defeating manner even when it is maladaptive. Therapy is a space where the self forms in relation to itself, fostered by an understanding environment. I want to assist people in discovering the goals and ideals they have for themselves and achieving those standards by means of practice, reflection, and action.