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What would be the best way for me to prepare myself this summer as an incoming psych major? #majors

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John’s Answer

Psychology, is one of the most popular majors on college campuses throughout the world. For some students, this introduction to psychology can be particularly daunting. Since many high schools do not offer psychology courses, students often have little or no exposure to the subject prior to attending college. The sheer amount of information contained in the average psychology course is enough to overwhelm even the most diligent student. After all, in addition to learning about the history of psychology, students are expected to touch upon a wide array of topics including biological, social, cognitive, social and personality psychology. Many high school and college students find psychology – the social science that deals with human thought and behavior – to be an intriguing field of study. If you’re considering majoring in psychology, there are steps you can take early on in your high school career that will help you in college and beyond. By choosing the right classes, particularly those in the life and natural sciences, mathematics and the social sciences, during high school, you are building yourself a foundation that will be valuable once you begin college.

Good Luck Terran

John recommends the following next steps:

Before you begin studying any topic in great depth, it is important to make sure that you have a strong grasp of the basics. In almost any introductory psychology course, the first few weeks of class will be devoted to learning a little bit about the history of psychology as well as the scientific methods that are used in psychological research. By familiarizing yourself with these topics early on, you will be able to gain a greater understanding and appreciation of psychology as you delve deeper into the course.
Volunteering in mental health facilities is another option, one that may be ideal for aspiring clinical psychologists. Hospitals and clinics are often looking for volunteers that can assist with administrative functions, community education and outreach functions and client-contact functions. In addition to helping you gain valuable career-related experience, volunteering can also help you get into your top-choice schools. More than half of college admissions personnel surveyed agreed that community service affects acceptance,

Thank You Jessica. “Our generation has the ability and the responsibility to make our ever-more connected world a more hopeful, stable and peaceful place.” — Natalie Portman John Frick

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Simeon’s Answer

You'll have plenty of time during the course of the school year to cover the actual concepts covered in psychology courses. I would actually recommend finding relevant books to read and experiences to have. These can help get the wheels in your head turning about the topics ahead of time. I'd recommend volunteering at a hospital, especially if you get the chance to listen to patients talk about how they are coping with their experiences. I'd recommend books about active listening. Life-long learning enriches your life as a whole and makes it easier to interact with school material. Lastly, you'll find it easier to write papers for school if you have already begun developing thoughts and opinions about psychology.

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Lyndsay’s Answer

Just go to class and turn in every assignment. You'll be fine:) I cannot stress enough though how important it is to just go to your classes. You get points just for going to class. Get all your work done in the afternoons so you'll be free to go out in the evenings, however, I recommend just not getting into the party scene because that's why you won't go to class.

How would you suggest the student better prepare for her first year as a psych major? Gurpreet Lally

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Howard’s Answer


I was not a psychology major in college nor do I teach it in college. I will tell you that college has more elaborate subjects for you to study and there are many topics you will need to conduct research on. I don't believe that college is difficult for any subject as long as you work hard and follow the directions of the professor in class. You must stay focused and there is less time for leisure.

Most college professors are willing to help and in college you have a diversity of avenues to take for help (i.e. library, tutoring, discussion with professor, work in groups with students and google helps too for finding information). If you love psychology this is a wonderful subject to major in. You should read Psychology Today which is great magazine on psychology articles. I might also suggest that you get a hold of a textbook in psychology that will be used in college and start reading the text and getting a general hold on the topic. Google college syllabus in principles of psychology and you can get an idea of subjects covered in your freshman year.

Don't put too much pressure on yourself and enjoy your summer. Just do some occasional reading
and perhaps visit the college you will attend and ask questions of students if you feel comfortable with it.

College can be really fun, exciting and educational as long as you are willing to devote the necessary time to excel. I wish you the very best and I hope that my general comments have helped you in some way. I have been teaching as a professor in college for 25 years and love it.

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Mauro’s Answer

Hi Araya,

Not sure what year you are in College. If you have completed your basic requirements and entering Psychology in your Junior year. I would just take it easy.

The most common thing to happen to a lot of students is that they commit themselves to a focus and they put tons of energy into preparing and reading it before hand that they becomes burnt out by the time they graduate resulting a change in course.

For ex, I loved accounting and I always wanted to be an accountant. I did tons of reading, mock balance sheets and put my soul into it. Just to realize when I was about to go into a 4yr university, I asked myself through all that studying and preparation is this what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, was this something I love?

Not to say all people lose their focus but its a commonality from being burnt out. You just need to keep the mystery and excitement going by giving yourself some slack.

I would just read on about articles of Psychology, some studies but dont dwell into the details. You dont know what your professor will be teaching and how it will be taught.