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Best extracurriculars for Psychology major?

I am in a community college studying psychology and want to apply to many great schools by the time I transfer! I am interested in getting my masters to become a clinical psychologist or educational counselor after undergrad. However, during the time I am in community college now, I want to increase my chances of getting accepted into a great school for psychology. I read on the internet that creating a podcast or talk would be a good one, but I dislike the idea of sharing my voice because I am very shy... but I do love to volunteer and offer my help to anyone needed! Because of the pandemic, I stopped volunteering at a school, but I hope to find similar opportunities soon. Is there a specific area of activity I should focus on? Should I find specific places/areas to volunteer/work/intern at? There is also a Certified Nursing Assistant certification program offered at my school-- would this be helpful? I just hope I can boost my application in all ways possible : )

Thank you for your answers!

#college #psychology #psychologist #clinicalpsychologist #counselor #psychiatrist #mentor #guidancecounselor #academiccounselor #volunteering #remotevolunteering #university #communitycollege #universityofcalifornia

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Maya’s Answer

Hi Christina! I am a current college student and I just recently transferred and I think some things you want to start now before transferring (and possibly continue once you do transfer) is try to get some research opportunities with psychology professors or find internships/ volunteer opportunities at therapy offices or at colleges. Another thing you can try is start a club at your community college that focuses on psychology studies and careers that way you can have a leadership opportunity on your resume. These are some big things you can start doing and looking into that will help you get into schools when you transfer and help you get into graduate schools as well. Hope this helped!
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Simeon’s Answer

I would recommend volunteering at a hospital since you could list it as volunteer work while also getting practice at doing active listening with people that are doing grief work. You'd be surprised by how relieving it is for patients to be able to have someone to talk to.
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Meighan’s Answer

It may be helpful to think about what areas you may want to specialize in once you reach your goal of becoming a counselor. Is it educational counseling? Adolescent counseling? Family counseling? Survivors of trauma? Use this time to pursue a specific interest and find your passion (or rule out areas you don't want to pursue-that is equally valuable)!

For example, if you think you want to specialize in counseling survivors of domestic violence or assault, try volunteering or getting a part time position at a Women's Shelter. For family or adolescent counseling, look for positions at Women and Infant Care (WIC) centers or YMCA or other youth focused activities. If educational counseling, try to see if you college has any open positions in the Dean's Officer or Admissions and Outreach center. Or, become a Teaching Assistant for a Professor who's psychology class you really enjoyed and did well in!

Bottom line-any activity you are passionate about and can speak to in your college application or interview will be helpful in your college application. In general, depth is more important than breadth. Don't take on so much that your grades suffer.
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Jacob’s Answer

It's great that you're thinking about ways to strengthen your application for psychology programs at great schools. Here are some extracurricular activities and tips to consider:

**1. Volunteer Opportunities:** Continue your passion for volunteering, especially in roles that relate to psychology or counseling. You can look for opportunities in local mental health organizations, crisis hotlines, or community centers that offer counseling services.

**2. Internships:** If possible, consider internships in psychology-related settings. This could include working as a research assistant in a psychology lab or interning at a mental health clinic. Practical experience in the field can be highly valuable.

**3. Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA):** While a CNA certification isn't directly related to psychology, it can provide you with valuable patient-care experience. This can be particularly helpful if you're considering a career in clinical psychology, where interacting with patients is a significant part of the job.

**4. Research Opportunities:** If you have a community college nearby with psychology faculty conducting research, explore the possibility of getting involved in their projects. Research experience can be a strong addition to your application.

**5. Leadership Roles:** Look for leadership opportunities within your community college or in any organizations you're involved with. Assuming leadership roles, even in non-psychology-related clubs or activities, demonstrates your ability to take initiative and lead.

**6. Psychology-Related Blog or Articles:** If you're not comfortable with podcasting but enjoy writing, consider starting a blog or writing articles about topics in psychology that interest you. This can showcase your knowledge and passion for the subject.

**7. Online Courses and Workshops:** Consider enrolling in online courses or workshops related to psychology or counseling. Many universities offer free or low-cost options, and completing them can demonstrate your commitment to learning and self-improvement.

**8. Networking:** Connect with your professors, counselors, and mentors at your community college. They can provide guidance and potentially write strong recommendation letters for your applications.

**9. Tailored Application Essays:** When applying to universities, customize your application essays to emphasize your passion for psychology, your experiences, and your long-term goals. Highlight how your extracurricular activities have shaped your desire to pursue clinical psychology or educational counseling.

**10. Keep a Record:** Maintain a detailed record of your extracurricular activities, volunteer work, internships, and achievements. This will help you easily reference your experiences when completing applications.

Remember that a well-rounded application includes a mix of experiences and showcases your dedication to the field. While a podcast may be a creative idea, there are plenty of other ways to demonstrate your commitment to psychology without sharing your voice if you're not comfortable with it. Focus on activities that genuinely interest you, and let your passion for the field shine through in your application materials. Good luck with your academic and career journey!
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