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What are some tips for college?

I just finished my freshmen year of college and I am wondering how the next years will be. Should I be focused or worried about anything? I am also a Forensic Psychology major and I don't have a minor yet. Should I be thinking about minors?

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Aishwarya’s Answer

About minoring, if there's a field that complements Forensic Psychology or you're passionate about, consider it. Discuss with your academic advisor for personalized advice. Remember, everyone's college experience is unique. Go at your own pace and do what's best for you. Enjoy this journey and make the most of the opportunities that come your way.
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Jiabao (Jabs)’s Answer

Hi Nicole, If you are worrying about your future career, I recommend you to reach out to a graduate who had gone through the recruiting process and that person will give you the most useful and practical advice on how you get increase your chance to land the job you want. Besides that, I think you should take your time to explore more of your hobbies or interests because college is the best time to do so. You can meet so many like-minded people and maybe build life-time friendship! I hope my advice helps :)
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Nicole !

Wow, I congratulate you on the completion of your first year of college ! That is a wonderful stepping stone and you have accomplished a lot in your first year already. There is absolutely nothing for you to worry about going forward.

Keep in mind that the act of worrying causes hesitations and barriers. It serves no positive purpose. We can't tell what will happen in our futures, we just have to focus on making sound choices and be aware of the cause and effect of things. This does not mean being worried. It means having insight, enjoying the journey and meeting many new people that you can help and that are there to help you, too. There is an abundance of support at college.

As for a minor, I really think you don't need one. You can decide that. But if you don't do a minor, you can always take more psychology classes and some courses in the Criminal Justice department since you are interested in the forensics realm of psychology. Remember that you will be a professional Psychologist first - that's the career. The population is the forensics part. So you will want to strive to be well-rounded in human behavior, studying about all ages, nationalities, issues because the population in forensics come from a very wide variety of backgrounds. Some courses in sociology would be good to have but I would not start focusing on a minor. Take everything you need going forward for Psychology and have your required general education courses match your basic interest in psychology. Think about whether you really need a minor.

The one thing that I would like to mention is that my opinion is to focus totally on psychology. When you are licensed, as a Psychologist, you can apply to work in a forensic capacity, but do not totally depend on one population for work. Well, you are in New York City, so chances are that you will not have a lack of places to practice forensics, true. You can get an idea of the field by contacting the employers and asking if they hire full time or per diem or temporary. Get a feel for how often you would work and if they hire directly or through a hospital or agency. You can do forensics at the same time that you work with other types of patients. That is just something that I like for people to remember. But if you stay in New York City, you can be confident that there will be plenty of opportunities for you now and in the future. On the side, keep up with the changes in the criminal justice system in New York City because over the past few years there have been many changes.

Being concerned about things is a lot different than being worried. Let everything flow naturally for you academically and socially. Know that you are doing great and find time to relax and have fun. I hope that this has been helpful and I wish you all the best moving forward with your fabulous academic experience !
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Megan’s Answer

Congrats on finishing your first year!

Be sure to use your resources on campus like:
-Academic Advisor- you can talk with them about a minor
-Career services- you can talk about internships and building your resume
-Tutoring and writing center- to help you maintain your GPA and improve your skills
- Financial aid- you can apply for scholarships every year and keep your cost of tuition down
- Study Abroad- maybe add some travel to your college experience
-Student life- be sure to get involved on campus and make the most of your college experience

I hope this helps!
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Thomas’s Answer

Avirup is absolute right. College can change really really really fast. I started college during COVID and had zero friends, zero social life, and was extremely depressed. Now, with only one semester left, I have made lasting friendships, participated in really really cool things, and feel very prepared for my career. I was also very worried after finishing my first year. I remember thinking- "so..... is that it? That's what people love so much?" Then things started turning around.

I think the most important advice I can give is something my dad said to me once- say yes to everything. Now, obviously there needs to be a point where you DON'T say yes, but what this is saying is to be open minded. If you enjoy studying something but you don't think it will be your entire career- consider adding that subject as a minor. If you really really like something and you enjoy it MORE than you current major, then change majors. Now that you're in college, you can choose what your life becomes. Do what you love to do and you'll never have to work a day in your life. I don't have a minor (though I am finishing a certificate which is my department's second option below a minor).

Go out there and make your own college experience!
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Kimberly’s Answer

It sounds like you already have a path in mind, just a little uncertain which way to go. As far as having a minor, it’s not required, but never hurts to have a back up plan. Forensics Psychology sounds like a great opportunity and field to study. For that reason, I would stay focused and driven to do the best you can grade wise with this field, but consider what other hobbies or skills you could use if you decide to pick a minor. It’s really up to you and where you see yourself once you graduate. Also consider speaking to your academic advisor or read up on what jobs are available with the interests you have. Both are great resources to help open your mind and think about what you want. Then, apply those skills and see if it’s something you would enjoy if you weren’t doing forensics psychology and make sure it’s worth your time and effort or just something you’d tweak at. If it’s a passion, go for it and help set your self up for success and financial stability.
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Avirup’s Answer

College is what you make of it. Take advantage of all the opportunities given to you and flourish in your field. I regret not utilizing all the resources during my first couple of years and am now hustling in my junior year. That being said it is also not a good idea to speed through it, don't put too much pressure on yourself and enjoy your time.
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Sabrina’s Answer

Well done on completing your freshman year! College is a treasure trove of opportunities, so it's worth taking some time to reflect on what you want to achieve in your sophomore year and then seek out the right opportunities to help you reach those goals. Networking is a crucial part of the college experience. I discovered a wealth of opportunities, including internships and study abroad programs, just by reaching out and striking up conversations, so don't hold back! Your sophomore year is also an ideal time to consider choosing a minor, as you still have three years to fulfill the necessary requirements.
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Jamie’s Answer

Great question! Be prepared for a whole new experience. Be willing to learn new things, meet new people, interact with professors and mentors on campus. Network as much as possible. This will help you get settled in and also with potential opportunities in the future. Say yes to new opportunities. You never know where they may lead you. Most importantly, have fun and learn everything you possibly can. Good luck! College is a big step and vital part of your career journey.
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