Saturday, December 8, 2012

Being a Psych Major

Happy Saturday everyone!  With finals week almost upon us, I wanted to take a few minutes to remember why I'm on the way to getting my psychology degree at Saint Mike's and to remind myself (and everyone else) that all the hard work is totally worth it!

I arrived at Saint Mike's having already declared my psych major.  During my junior and senior years of high school, I developed a great relationship with my counselor, which is what helped me decide that I wanted to become a school counselor.  Naturally, I declared myself a psych major, and couldn't be happier!  I took General Psychology during the fall semester of my freshman year with Ari Kirshenbaum.  Although it was challenging (partly because of the class and partly because I was still getting used to college life in general), it was very rewarding and I learned a lot.  This semester, I took Research Methods I with Dr. Boynton, which is a requirement for all psych majors (see a complete list of requirements here).  In the spring I'll be taking Research Methods II.  Together, these classes fulfill the SMC Quantitative Reasoning LSR (Liberal Studies Requirement).  They also teach you the fundamentals about psychological statistics and evaluating/conducting your own study/experiment.  I took stats/AP stats in high school and loved it, but I'm a little nervous about RM II (as I like to abbreviate).  However I'm confident that my professor (Ari's wife, Professor Millwood) will be a great support!

In addition to Research Methods I, I also took Social Psychology this semester with new professor, Kacy Pula.  I absolutely loved this class - it was so interesting!  Since Kacy is new, I hadn't heard anything about her teaching style before registering for the class.  But I ended up absolutely loving the way the class was set up in terms of her powerpoint presentations, videos she had us watch, and various activites/opportunities to earn extra points to boost our grade.  We covered a number of different topics, including persuasion, aggression, and love, and we finished the semester with helping (when people help, why they help, etc.).  Everything we covered relates to how people interact with and perceive each other, which is something that can definitely be applied to everyday life.  Every week, my professor required us to complete a journal entry which defined a concept we learned in class and then described a real life example.  This assignment helped me to be on the lookout for applications of my classwork in the real world, which is very exciting for me!

As I mentioned, one psych class I'll be taking next semester is Research Methods II, to get my requirement out of the way.  Hopefully I won't forget what I've learned this semester over winter break!  Next semester I will also be taking Cognitive Psych, with the same professor I have for Research Methods I right now (Dr. B).  I've heard great things about his Cognitive class so I'm very excited!

Overall, I am extremely happy with the psychology program at Saint Mike's.  All of my professors have been wonderful - especially in terms of making themselves available during and outisde of their office hours if I ever need anything.  My Social Psych class in particular makes me more sure of my decision to be a psych major every day.  And if I ever have any doubts or want to try something new, I know that the Saint Mike's Liberal Studies curriculum has many different options for me to consider.  I don't have a minor right now, but each semester I take a variety of classes to see if I can find anything that interests me (in addition psychology) and that I might want to further pursue.  I just finished an Intro to Anthropology class which I found to be very interesting.  Next semester I will be taking an Intro to Sociology class, so maybe I'll decide to minor in one or both of those!

I could go on and on about being a psych major at Saint Mike's, but I'll stop here.  Feel free to ask me any questions about being a psych major or Saint Mike's in general and as usual, thanks so much for reading my blog!  Have a great day!  And for those of you preparing for finals in the coming weeks, good luck!

PS - here's me being excited to go study psychology before my finals start :)

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