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What should I expect from my classes?

I'm currently in high school and I'm interested in becoming a psychiatrist. I'm going to be taking a half year of psychology and a half year of sociology. Is there anything I should know before going into these classes to prepare myself.

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Gina’s Answer

That's great that you're interested in becoming a psychiatrist! Taking psychology and sociology classes in high school can provide you with a solid foundation for your future studies. Here are a few things you can expect and some tips to prepare yourself:

Psychology:
1. Introduction to key concepts: You'll learn about the basics of psychology, including different perspectives, theories, and research methods.
2. Exploration of human behavior: You'll study topics such as cognition, perception, learning, memory, personality, and development.
3. Case studies and experiments: You may analyze real-life case studies and conduct simple experiments to understand psychological concepts.
4. Critical thinking and analysis: Psychology often involves analyzing and interpreting data, theories, and research findings. Develop your critical thinking skills to excel in this subject.
5. Note-taking and active participation: Actively engage in class discussions, take thorough notes, and ask questions to deepen your understanding.

Sociology:
1. Study of society and social behavior: Sociology focuses on understanding social structures, institutions, and the impact they have on individuals and groups.
2. Exploration of social issues: You'll examine topics such as culture, socialization, inequality, deviance, social change, and social movements.
3. Research and analysis: Sociology involves studying social patterns and conducting research to understand social phenomena. Familiarize yourself with basic research methods and data analysis.
4. Critical thinking and empathy: Develop your ability to think critically about social issues and understand different perspectives. Empathy and open-mindedness are important in studying sociology.
5. Engage in discussions: Participate actively in class discussions, share your thoughts, and listen to others' perspectives. This will enhance your understanding of sociological concepts.

To prepare yourself for these classes, you can:
- Read introductory psychology and sociology textbooks or online resources to familiarize yourself with key concepts.
- Stay updated on current events and social issues to develop a broader understanding of the subjects.
- Engage in discussions with peers or teachers who have knowledge in psychology or sociology.
- Develop good note-taking and study skills to effectively retain and review the material.

Remember, these classes are just the beginning of your journey towards becoming a psychiatrist. Stay curious, ask questions, and explore additional resources outside of the classroom to deepen your understanding of these subjects.
Thank you comment icon I appreciate the advice Gina, thank you so much! Kennedy
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Michelle’s Answer

Hi Kennedy,

As someone who took both of these classes in high school, I would suggest you do what you can to have fun while you learn. If you are already interested in the subjects, it will be much easier. I advise you apply things you learn from your psychology classes to your learning. For example, you might learn about memory and how to take in information better. This is a great place to practice what you learn which will help you remember it long term and really get to know the whole subject on a deeper level. I also suggest you find someone else who is interested in the material and work to study together. This is such a good time to share in a learning experience. Lastly, I would ask my teachers for advice and ways to prepare for their classes specifically. Generally, teachers love when students take the lead and ask how they can better themselves, and they might have some really good tips for you.
Thank you comment icon You rock! This advice is very helpful. Kennedy
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Kennedy !

It is marvelous that your high school is offering both psychology and sociology ! Especially since you want to go into the mental health field, this will be a fantastic early introduction and you will develop an early understanding about the subjects.

My advice to get a heads up on what to expect would be to e-mail the teacher or visit the teachers' office and ask for the course(s) outline. Another thing you can do would be to also find out the textbooks and read the table of contents to see what information will be covered. Each chapter usually is a different subject and this will give you an idea of what you'll be learning throughout the courses.

Although I do not know the exact textbook you will have, I have left a link below to a psychology textbook which lays out the particular topics that are taught for whatever course that book is used for. Also keep in mind that it may be a college level textbook, but I wanted to let you see how helpful it is to read a table of contents to know the flow of a course and what you'd be learning. I have also left a link below for the contents of a sociology textbook so you can get an idea of the topics touched upon for that course.

Your high schools' website may even have a course breakdown or information about the class, so I advise checking the website, too. When you visit the teacher, ask if a term paper would be something that you'd have to do for the classes. It would be helpful to know that in advance.

As for the subjects themselves, keep in mind that psychology is the study of how the mind works, the brain and lots of theories and developmental stages. Sociology is the study of groups of people. The two subjects go hand in hand and will both be instrumental for a future career in Psychiatry.

I hope that this has been helpful in shedding some general insight for your upcoming classes. I wish you the best !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

THINGS STUDIED IN AN INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY https://saylordotorg.github.io/text_introduction-to-psychology/
THINGS STUDIED IN A SOCIOLOGY CLASS http://glhssocialstudies.weebly.com/sociology-textbook---pdf-copy.html
Thank you comment icon I appreciate you taking the time to answer this. Kennedy
Thank you comment icon You're welcome, Kennedy ! Michelle M.
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Duaa’s Answer

Hey Kennedy,

Wow, it's incredible that you're almost done with high school! Your next adventure awaits, and it's full of exciting choices. You can opt to attend a two-year college and earn an Associate's degree in Psychology. Alternatively, you could dive straight into a four-year university program to earn a Bachelor's degree in Psychology.

Aspiring to be a psychiatrist is a fantastic goal! My advice would be to start at a college, earn some credits, and then transfer to a university. This way, you'll have a solid foundation and a head start. Remember, while you can still take classes at college and transfer them, you'll need at least 45 credits from a university.

Keep going, Kennedy! Your journey is just beginning, and it's going to be an amazing ride.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is really helpful. Kennedy
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Astrid’s Answer

Hi Kennedy!

Psychology is a vast field that covers many topics.

I took AP psych in high school and we got to study a broad spectrum of topics. I would suggest getting familiar with the brain's anatomy and the functions of each part of the brain. You'll probably need to be able to label a brain so that will help prepare you. In the more theoretical part you could explore the work of Carl Jung, Freud, Phillip Zimbardo. Experiments over time have become more ethical- the case of little Albert is one I'll never forget as it shocked me quite a bit. Phineas Gage is a well known case. I ramble, go out and google psych 101, there are many sites that are online classroom resources so the material will be appropriate for hs students.

Regarding sociology, it focuses on human interactions. You'll be able to relate and understand the material fairly well as you are a human that interacts in society and have seen examples of group mentality, logical fallacies, the effects of body language in a conversation

Look into the course syllabus if you can and start looking into those topics.

Hope you enjoy psychology and sociology!
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