Behind the major with Francis Cowart: Understanding yourself


Francis Cowart

Francis Cowart is a 20-year-old senior majoring in psychology here at West Texas A&M University. Cowart is from Clovis, New Mexico, and has found herself a second family on campus through Jarrett hall, where she resides. Outside of classes and being a preschool teacher, Cowart enjoys reading, painting, playing music on her ukulele, going home, hanging out with friends and playing pool.

Cowart began focusing on college at a young age. She found herself starting college at fifteen while homeschooling. Although she declared her major a year after earning her associate’s degree, losing a loved one inspired her to pursue psychology.

“My dad passed away when I was 15, and I was looking for someone to talk to for about a year after he passed,” Cowart said. “All these online therapists told me I wasn’t sad enough, so I decided from that point on that I wanted to be the person that someone could come talk to; there are no consequences.”

Throughout the time that Cowart searched for therapy, she was taking an introduction to psychology class which opened her up to working in the intervention side of psychology. Psychological intervention is “a relationship aimed at promoting a better adaptation of the individual to a given situation and optimizing their personal resources in relation to autonomy, self-worth and self-help.”

“I decided I want to work in intervention with kids because my nephew has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder,” Cowart said. “During quarantine, I was his primary caretaker, and he would go through fits of rage, but being in psychology classes allowed me to know how to take care of him, which helped me teach others how to take care of him better.”

Spending time taking care of her nephew inspired Cowart to want to work with children who are in the early stages of development and do not understand the emotions and thoughts they are experiencing. She hopes to help children recognize how to cope and comprehend their feelings in a healthy way.

“I think [psychology] can benefit everybody because everyone has a brain, mental health and bad days,” Cowart said.”So, everyone can name at least one time they felt low and had to seek out someone to talk to, but some of us just struggle a little bit more. I think psychology can help others understand your own mind, especially when talking to someone who can help you navigate your mind is extremely helpful, essentially [psychology] is a bridge to a better and easier flowing life.”

Cowart wants to work with younger children as a school psychologist but focus on kindergarten or first graders. Considering Cowart is already a preschool teacher, she can see how children struggle even though they do not understand, so she finds delight in talking with them since the children are at an impressionable age.

“My favorite part of psychology is when someone is at their lowest and you are able to give them an explanation as to why they are feeling the way they are, you can help provide them with a plan to feel better,” Cowart said. “From experience, the way their hope lights up is unfathomable and the way they are finally able to figure out a hope for their life is the absolute best.”

Cowart came to WT because it is the sweet spot location from home— not too close but not too far. She was further persuaded when she had a friend tour the campus and who had told her a lot of incredible things about the university but more importantly, how comfortable the school felt.

“My favorite thing about WT is that you can find people to connect with so easily,” Cowart said. “I didn’t know anyone before I came here, but one night I walked into the Jarrett lobby and met some of the most incredible friends here who all genuinely care about each other.”

Cowart believes you should never stress yourself out or hold yourself back from your dreams.

“Give yourself grace because you can seek it out from everyone around you, but you are the one who’s holding yourself back,” Cowart said. “Life is hard and that is valid. So, you can give yourself the grace to feel the pain of what you’re going through.”