Letters from Seniors
Incoming Psychology Freshman,
Looking back on my past four years here at the university as a Psychology major, there isn’t much I would regret, but, there is much that I did learn. Going in as a freshman there is a sense of not knowing what to expect and at times not knowing what direction to go in. All of this is normal and you should be having these feelings, but, what is important to know is learning how to recover from your mistakes and taking them as learning experiences where you grow from them and positively move forward. This is a something that took me almost four years to realize and put into effect in my life as an individual and student.
Academically I did not become officially a psychology major until almost going into my junior year, placing me a bit behind in comparison to other psychology majors. But, if you do end up switch majors later on, don’t worry it is possible to do and graduate on time. It is more important to major in something you are interested in, rather than to major in something halfheartedly. This was something I did for half of my college career, while I can’t say it was a waste of time; I definitely agree that I could have used that time more wisely if I would have taken the time to reflect on what I really wanted to do in college. In reference to the psychology major and department you’re in great hands, if you find that this is the major for you and want to keep doing, it’s a great choice. I think something that I wish I would have done is to have been more organized. Buy a planner and once you receive your syllabus for your classes, fill the planner out for the entire semester. This places you in a situation in which you can plan accordingly academically and socially, in which you’re able to get your work done in a timely manner and be able to know when you have time to study and to have fun. This is easier said than done, but by doing this I was able to have my college life a bit more on order.
Having psychology as a major will give the ability to have a very different point of view on scholarly and everyday life topics that might come up. Being that I was a science major before I switched to psychology I was able to make a direct comparison between both fields of study. While science based majors are excellent and interesting, they lacked to provide me with the power of objectivity on what I was learning, and I believe that they are all straightforward thinking based. While, psychology gives you the power to analyze and place your own point of view on many of the theories and studies made in psychology. This, approach is actually encouraged in this field of study and I found this to be very interesting and enjoyable.
Another piece of advice is that you should become involved in your major. The psychology department might be small, but it offers many opportunities to become involved in clubs, honor societies, and research. By getting involved you will build valuable relationships with your peers and department members. Also, you will be able to find your area of interest within psychology and become more informed if this is really something you will like to continue doing. Something that was useful to me was to establish a positive relationship with your advisor. They are there to guide you and help you along the path here at the university. Listen to their advice, even if you might not like it, they have been here for many years and they have seen it all, they have seen many students go through similar situations that you might be encountering. Ultimately remember they want what is best for you as a student and as an individual. In reference to taking classes in psychology, this major gives you great flexibility to pick and choose classes that interest you personally. Even though you might not be able to do so in your freshman year, be patient for it is well worth the wait. There are many classes that will appeal to you and will help guide you towards what direction you may want to go in the future career wise.
I hope these words of advice serve you well in your time being at the university, whether or not you decide to remain a psychology major or not I think this will serve you well. Remember, above all to stay positive, learn from your mistakes, and be honest with yourself in reference to what you want to do.
Greetings! I can tell you now that this letter will be very different from one you might have received from a different psychology major. A little about myself: I started out at the University of Scranton as a biochemistry (research track) major. Terrible decision. Two semesters full of rote regurgitation later, and I found myself searching for a new major more in line with my way of thinking. I found that in psychology. If you are looking for a major with a core curriculum based upon simple memorization, I would pick a different one. What I found so alluring about psychology was the unique blend of intuition with scientific study that can be found in few other fields. That being said, this major (as well as the university experience) is what you make of it. Take the time early on in your collegiate career to decide exactly what it is you want out of your life. More people go to college than ever before, and many do not belong here. The reality of how expensive the University of Scranton really is is obscene. It took a long while to hit me, which definitely impacted the trajectory of my academic career permanently. Sounds scary, and it is. You’re paying ridiculous amounts of money to be here, make the best of it!
As far as advice regarding the psychology program specifically, get to know the faculty! That is absolutely the smartest thing I have done in my time here. Every professor in the department that you have taken a course with (which will end up being almost all of them) should know your name and know what you are about. Don’t be afraid to have a little personality, to be a little out there. Bring something unique to the table, be “that kid” in your courses. Don’t be another face in the crowd! Challenge the professors while remaining respectful, almost all of them in the psychology department will appreciate it. The students have the potential to spur higher learning, not solely the professor lecturing. I love a good lecture as much as the next person, but a forum type atmosphere facilitates learning quite well.
Career planning wise, start figuring out what areas of psychology interest you the most. Start general, then narrow it down from there. Does brain and behavior interest you more than clinical? Are you interested in research? Would you rather actively help people or teach? These are important questions that are never asked too early. Personality and Abnormal are good basic courses to help determine if a clinical route interests you, for example.
If you find an area that interests you, find a professor that works closely in that area and ask them if they need research assistants. The best decision I ever made was searching out research in Evolutionary psychology (my passion). I may have learned tons of information from my courses, but I could have done that myself. Piaget’s stages, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you name it, it is in a book. Where there is no friendly banter, there is no advancement, only achievement. As a self identifying intellectual, I pride myself on contributing to the body of knowledge in a given area, and thinking critically regarding its subject matter. Psychology, and more specifically, research in psychology, allowed me to do this. In short, do research, you won’t regret it one bit. You can even take it for credit!
If you want to go to graduate school, be sure to prepare adequately. There are tons of great books and resources on getting into graduate school in psychology, and there are a few copies floating around the department, I believe. My advice: don’t freak out over the GRE, it is actually ludicrously easy unless you are math phobic. On the flip side, study for the subject test if you take it, you’ll do better than going in cold. The following applies here and in summation: figure out what you love, and take it right on down the line. If you love school, love psychology, and love a subdivision within psychology, and you can figure that out with relative swiftness, you are in good shape. I will say this (controversy alert): if you do not feel as if you are going to use your degree to land a job, don’t waste the money to go here, it will not be worth it. Pick up every book you can get your hands on and teach yourself. As someone who adores the material of psychology, but does not plan on using the degree to secure a job in the field (I am a musician), I probably would have been better off just teaching it to myself. Alas, my loss can be someone else’s gain.
Sincerely, A graduating senior of the psychology department.
In less than three weeks I will be closing the Psychology student chapter of my life and starting a new one titled, “The Real World”. I always thought as a freshman graduation seemed years away but believe me when I tell you that it felt anything but that long. The time flies before you even realize it and all the years spent here at the University of Scranton seem like one small short year in all so I encourage you to make the most of it! If you’re feeling homesick or a bit down, give Scranton a chance! I felt the same exact way for about a month. I even went home one weekend to visit colleges back there but my ultimate decision was to stay and stick it out for at least 1 year. It was the best decision I have ever made.
Freshman year I came to the University of Scranton as a declared Psychology major. I have always had a desire to understand how people behaved and why they did what they did so this seemed like the perfect major for me. I absolutely loved my Introduction to Psychology course and my professor was so caring and sweet and I learned a lot about Psychology.
However, the second semester of freshman year I took an intro course for Counseling and Human Services and decided to change my major. What was the reason behind the switch? Intro to Human Adjustment was very similar to psychology and I wanted to try something new. I still took psychology courses and really loved my counseling courses, but needless to say, spring semester of junior year I switched my major back to Psychology and declared Counseling and Human Services as my minor.
The moral of this story is do not be afraid to try anything new because you never know where life will take you. If you steer off one path and end up back at it know it was meant to be that way. You never know until you try. Because of the switch my last three semesters of college have been jam packed with credits, 19, 18.5, and 19 again just to graduate on time. If you truly want something you’ll make time for it and you’ll come out just fine.
My favorite Psychology courses that not only interested me but taught me a lot were Evolutionary Psychology, Research Methods, Personality, and Cognitive Psychology just to name a few. The professors in the Psyc Department truly care about their students and their success. If you are interested in research there are opportunities to receive undergraduate research credit and work under a professor in a study. Another perk about being a psychology major is that there are so many free electives that it is easy for students to double major, pick up minors, and still graduate on time. Use your free electives wisely and make sure you are taking classes you enjoy taking. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun! The time really does fly by right before your eyes so cherish every single moment of it!
Best of luck,
First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your acceptance to the University of Scranton, you have many things to look forward to. As an incoming freshman in 2008, I can honestly say that I was not sure what to expect, however, I quickly learned that Scranton is a university unlike any other. You will learn, just as I did, that your years here will prove to be enriching both academically and socially. The community that you are now a part of will help you grow individually and give you lasting friendships.
As a freshman, I had no clue what I wanted to major in. I attribute this indecisiveness to my false idea that whatever I majored in would determine what I would do for the rest of my life. So when my advisor called me over the summer asking me what I was thinking about majoring in, I chose nursing. To be honest, I chose nursing because I thought it would be fun to wear scrubs and work in a hospital like on Greys Anatomy. However, after receiving my schedule filled with biology, chemistry, and math courses, I quickly reevaluated my decision. So I became “undecided” and worked away at the core classes. This allowed me to try out a few different areas and try to get a grasp for what I really enjoyed studying. It was after my intro to psychology course that I realized how much I enjoyed going to class and learning the material.
I think what struck me most about psychology was how applicable it is to everyday life. In most psychology classes you will find yourself thinking about a real life example of what you are learning. I also enjoyed the complexity and intricacies of studying human behavior, which often go unnoticed.
Now having completed the psychology major, there are definitely a few words of wisdom that I can pass on to you. One of the best things I think you can do is get to know the faculty in your department. The psych department has many experienced, knowledgeable, and helpful faculty that can assist you along the way. Along with getting to know your faculty, I think it is important to try and get some research experience and become a teaching assistant. These two things will really standout on a graduate school or job application. These experiences will also help you discover what areas within psychology really interest you.
There is a common misconception about psychology, one that even I held before entering college. This misconception is that the fields of psychology and counseling are the same thing. Psychology is a science, statistics and research methods are two key concepts that you will be studying. This is not to demean counseling in any way, but your courses will contain elements of neuroscience, biology, and empirical research. Thankfully, I enjoyed all of these aspects of the psychology major, however, I have known many people who dropped out of the major because they thought it was like counseling.
Since Scranton is a liberal arts college, you will not only be taking courses in your major but you will also be studying philosophy, science, and theology. Some may view taking these classes as a waste of time, but I think that classes outside of your major only broaden your scope of knowledge. I also think that these classes help you become a well-rounded student. Many of these classes, such as philosophy, you will find relate to psychology.
When looking at all of the classes you are required to take to graduate in four years, it may seem overwhelming. However, it can easily be done. I suggest taking a heavier course load in your freshman and sophomore years. This will help you complete the major on time, and also give you time during your junior and senior years if you want to apply to graduate school, which is a laborious process.
In the psychology major, you are afforded many elective credits. In my opinion the best way to use up these credits is to declare a minor. I chose a communication minor because it improves your writing and interpersonal skills. However, I think any minor you choose can serve as a great addition.
Lastly, some of the best advice I can give is to get involved! Do not put on blinders and forget about all that the university has to offer beyond your major. Join clubs, intramural sports, and community service programs. Getting involved on campus will not only look great on any Resume, it will provide you with amazing experiences. I also strongly suggest studying abroad. Never again in your life will you be able to travel the world as a student, which I think is a unique experience. Even if you only do a trip over intercession, such as I did, you will not regret it. Studying abroad will take you out of your comfort zone and allow you to make friends around the world.
As an incoming freshman, you are staring down a seemingly long road. But as someone now at the end of that road, I am here to tell you that the road as not as long as you may think. Your four years here will go by fast, so it is important to make the most of them. Gather as many new experiences as you can, make new friends, and study what you have a passion for. Psychology is a wonderful field of study that will prepare you for many different career paths.
Most importantly I would like to point out that this is an exciting time in your life, you are about to embark on a journey that will change you for the better. I am proud to say that I will soon become an alumnus of this great institution. As an alumnus, I wish you great success and hope that your time at University of Scranton will be as wonderful as they were for me.
Welcome to the University of Scranton. You have chosen a fine University to pursue your education. It is my hope that while here at the U, you will find yourself in an environment in which you will grow and develop academically, personally and spiritually. Making the transition from high school senior to college freshman is both an exciting and difficult period of time in your life. By choosing to become a University of Scranton student, you have chosen to leave the familiarity and comfort of home and begin a new enterprise. While here at the University, you will become part of a new community of peers and faculty members from all over the country, and the world. Acknowledging and embracing the potential and opportunity the University of Scranton has to offer you is the first step in becoming both a successful student and individual. It is very important that you are aware of all the resources available to you as a student and individual. The University provides its students with all forms of support, academic counseling, the CTLE writing department, dedicated to improving students writing skills, as well as the center for health and well-being. Utilizing the many resources available to you here on campus will help insure that you succeed in becoming a successful student and individual. The most valuable resources you have here on campus are your professors. Get to know your professors on a personal level. Become someone that they recognize and know. Remember, your professors were once young students like yourself. They are more than willing to assist you in academic efforts, as well as providing you with support in other regards. Engage them during and after class. By engaging yourself in class and with your professors with the course material will insure that you receive the most from your education. This is the benefit of attending a University with small class sizes.
Much of the difficulty in being a first year undergraduate University student is selecting which major or concentration of study you will pursue. As you have already made this difficult decision, you are in my opinion already at an advantage to those who have not. I myself, like many other first and second year undergraduate students had much difficulty in declaring my major. It is of most importance that you are passionate about the field you choose to pursue. The study of human Psychology is a fantastic realm of academia to pursue and the University attempts and in my opinion succeeds in providing its students with a diverse range of courses and subject material. The Psychology curriculum is designed to prepare students for a diverse range of post-graduate and professional applications, as well as to benefit the overall well-roundedness of the individual that a liberal arts education provides a student with. Being a University student is an exciting opportunity. You are here to grow and develop as an individual both in and outside of the classroom. Becoming active on-campus and participating in University activities is a great way to introduce yourself to new people, challenge the parameters of your comfort zone and partake in a range of diverse experiences.
Be a responsible student. Work with your academic advisor to plan your academic course work ahead of time. Know what classes are available to you and what classes are required for the Psychology curriculum. College-level course work is far more demanding than high school. To become a successful student it is important that you plan ahead of time. Complete homework and reading assignments ahead of time. Be prepared for class and participate. Participating in class is a great way to build a relationship with your professors and make yourself known amongst your peers. Social interaction is a large part of the University experience. Staying on-top of your course work will allow you to socialize during the week and weekends. Be responsible in regards to your behavior on and off campus. House parties in the hill section are of much allure to young and naïve students searching for fun on the weekends. Do not allow the social “party” aspect of college to become the primary reason you are here. Building relationships with your peers on and off campus will provide you with new friendships and opportunities for further individual and intellectual growth and development. Engage and challenge your fellow peers both in and outside of the classroom. Be an active participant in your intellectual growth, it will be the most rewarding aspect of your University experience.
The University of Scranton is a venue for individual and intellectual growth. Optimize the time you have here. Allow yourself to become the best student, son, daughter, brother, sister, grandson, granddaughter you can be. The University of Scranton is an academic community dedicated to nurturing the needs and desires of young capable and ambitious minds. The journey is the reward. Embrace the challenge.
I would like to take this opportunity to talk to you about your upcoming experience here at the University of Scranton. The first thing I would like to address to you is the most important. To set this up, I will first summarize my experience. When I came here to the University I had no clue about my future endeavors. I came into this school with no plans, passions, or expectations about what I wanted to do with my life. It seemed that everyone else in the world knew exactly what they wanted to do; and they had a plan too! It took me my entire college career to figure out what I wanted to do. And now, as a second semester senior, I declared a second major in Community Health Education. Though I will be here another year, it doesn’t bother me one bit, because I know that I am on the right track to a profession that I know I will enjoy and love. So my first piece of advice to you is this: take your time in figuring out what you want to do in life. Seems simple enough, but the stigma placed on us is one that demands we know what we want to do right out of high school. As far as I’m concerned, both you and I are still children. So take your time figuring things out.
Second on my list of advice to you, is to branch out in every realm possible. Try things that may not seem “like you.” An easy way to do this, is to take classes on subjects that have always interested you but never had the opportunity to study in high school. Also take classes that you may not know anything about. You may find that out this is your passion, or calling. Besides academics, branch out into new activities. When I came to the University I weighed 242 pounds. I started to exercise and read about nutrition. I lost 72 pounds in 10 months, and dropped down to 170 pounds. Now I am a competitive athlete and amateur Olympic weightlifter. And I hope now, with my new major, to turn this “hobby” I picked up into a career. You can find out what you really want to do in life very easily. Here’s the secret: take note of the things you love to do, and turn it into a career. If you don’t know what you love to do yet, that’s alright. Just wait it out. Eventually, something will come your way. When it does, you may not know it. It will consume most of your time and turn you into an expert about the subject in a matter of weeks. At this point, you will soon realize that you found something you want to pursue for the rest of your life.
Next on my list of advice is to take a hard look at yourself. Find out who YOU are. Not your parents, not your friends, not your brothers or sisters, not anyone else but you. Take time to mold your personality and values. Then pick out your close friends and act accordingly. Don’t try to impress anybody, because people generally don’t care. Understand that people will be attracted to you if you simply are you. Sounds cheesy, I know. But it makes sense. I spent many wasted months being friends with people that didn’t matter. It wasn’t until I figured out myself that I was truly happy. Another important part about self-realization, is knowing that you will mess up. I promise, you will mess up; some more than others. But like the saying goes, it doesn’t matter if you fail, it’s how you deal with the failure. If there’s anything I learned about failure, is that only geniuses don’t screw up. The only thing to do, is to prepare yourself for failure and move ahead from it.
I hope that this letter is helpful to any of you that read it. I’m sure others are telling you about classes or the “University of Scranton experience.” These are things that you should figure out on your own. Your experience here will be unique to you only. Take my words of advice seriously. You can do more than you think you can. Get involved in yourself before you get involved in anything else and the rest will follow. When things start to get tough, take time to yourself. YOU are the most important person on this campus.
Hello! I am a senior here at the University of Scranton. First and foremost I want to congratulate you and extend my sincerest welcome! My college experience has been both exciting and challenging. After taking some time to reflect on my four years here, I would now like to offer some advice to you that I feel would have come in handy for myself. My hope is that you find it useful as you begin your college journey, and as you continue to navigate your way through this process. I also hope that I help you avoid some of my less than elegant moments in academia.
I hardly need to tell you that an excellent education comes with a steep price tag. If you are lucky enough or intelligent enough to not have to foot the bill you may skip to the next paragraph. If, however, you are like me and are incurring the financial burden, here is some advice. Prove your self academically. Many scholarships become available to you during your time here if you do well. Some of these you will receive notification of, others you need to look for. Check with the financial aid office, and also with your local organizations, such as the Lions Club or Rotary Club among others. Getting involved with these organizations as a junior member is a wonderful way to not only (possibly) receive financial aid, but to also make contacts and participate as a volunteer. This is without a doubt time consuming, but well worth the effort. Also keep yourself informed of what you are borrowing and what you will owe. This will help you avoid you going into what I call “scholastic sticker shock”! After all is said and done my hope is that you feel your education is worth it. I know that I do.
Now that I have imparted the financial wisdom upon you, let us talk about the important stuff- FUN! Yes, FUN! School can be tough, there is no doubt, but I have found that if you do your best to maintain a good attitude and to have a good time, that it can make all the difference. A good experience is as much about what you bring to the table as your professors and classmates. DO NOT just sit in your seat in the back of the class with your head buried in your notebook writing every word the professor says. Take the time to personally introduce yourself to your professor. Professors are people too. If they know who you are they will care how you do. This is when you will begin to develop some of your first professional relationships and doing this is a skill. Becoming adept at this skill will be one of the most important things you learn, as it is paramount in nearly every profession. Moreover it can be the difference between a class that is a snooze fest or one that you are actively engaged in and enjoy. I have taken a class with students who asked good questions, felt comfortable enough to make an occasional hilarious comment and it was fun! I was then the teacher’s assistant for the same class with students who did not participate and it was awful. Do not underestimate your roll.
OK, now really- let us talk about fun, and by fun I mean parties! I cannot stress enough, the importance of having a good time! Look around you, some of these people you barely know may end up being your life long friends. They may be in your wedding one-day or perhaps your business partners. Meet everyone you can, diversify your friend portfolio. Get involved with different campus groups. Give people a chance and they will surprise you. Some day soon you will be in the work force and making mortgage payments –live it up a little! Travel if you can and culture yourself. Be safe and learn time management. Sometimes you will have to say, “No, I cannot go to your awesome party. I have a paper due’. This admittedly sucks, but it is the nature of the beast.
Time management, mentioned above, brings me to my next little gem of advice. Get a planner! Do it now! It is ok I’ll wait for you…. O.K. now that you have your planner say, “hello” -it is your new b.f.f. Write down everything and have it with you at all times. I would have died without mine. Use it to schedule your time properly and follow it like the bible. Record assignments and tests and when you will work on them and study. Also write in when you have more important things to do like parties and work. This will help you be realistic about how you will get everything done. This led me to realize on many occasions that I had to wake up a little earlier and go to bed a little later, but I got everything done! Hey- you’re young you can handle it!
In closing, I hope this has been helpful. Buckle up! You are in for the ride of your life!
Welcome to the University of Scranton! I would like to start off by saying you have made an excellent decision in attending this university, and the choice of being a psychology major. The next four years will be the most memorable years of your life. There are a few words of advice I would like to provide you with in order for you to take full advantage of all that the university and the psychology department has to offer.
The first word of advice I would like to provide you with is to get to know your professors. There is a small student to teacher ratio here, and you should take advantage of it as much as possible. In the field of psychology, you are most likely going to want to receive a higher education to specialize in a certain field. You will need professors who know you well to write letters of recommendations for graduate school. You will even need these for future job interviews. Getting to know your professors, and letting your professors get to know you will benefit you in the long run because your letters will be more personalized. With the small student to teacher ratio, you have a chance to interact with the faculty at many different levels. Seek out professors that research in fields that interest you, and become their research assistant. Also, if you are strong in a certain course ask the professor to become their teaching assistant. Doing extra tasks for a professor will allow them to get to know you outside of the classroom.
One thing to keep in mind is that you cannot be intimidated by any of the professors. I believe our department has some of the most helpful and friendly professors at the university. I remember the first time I met a certain professor I was scared of him. I thought he was the most intimidating man I have ever met. I was hesitant to take one of his courses, but decided to anyway. I am so thankful I did because I ended up enjoying every minute of that course. I became his teaching assistant for two semesters, took almost every class he offered, and now he is my favorite professor I had throughout my four years here. All of the professors are here to help you succeed in everything you do. They truly want what is best for you, so do try and get to know every one of them.
The second word of advice I would like to give you pertains to the psychology courses you should take. The department requires that you take five of the core eight psychology courses. I would recommend taking more than five. The core eight is a great way to capture all that psychology has to offer. Right this minute you might think you know exactly what field in psychology you are most interested in. However, after taking these courses you might change your mind. I know many students who have changed their path in psychology once they have taken a course in a different subject. For instance, one of my friends is headed to graduate school in social psychology, when originally she was interested in clinical psychology. Be open-minded and take courses to broaden your education. Also, do not be afraid to challenge yourself. You are not here to take courses that are easy and do not require a lot of work. You are here to gain knowledge and challenge yourself. You are paying a lot of money to attend the University of Scranton, so make it worth your while.
Another word of advice is to not rely on other students’ opinions of certain classes and professors who teach them. For instance, I guarantee you will hear to not take the course titled behavioral neuroscience. Many students say it is the most difficult psychology course, and to not bother taking a course that would require you to do so much work. Yes, the course is difficult, but just because one student did not do well or did not find it interesting does not mean you will think the same. Stay away from taking the easy way out because in the end you may surprise yourself. Also, research methods will not be the death of you. Everyone gets through it and the course actually is a lot of fun.
A fourth word of advice relates to field experience. One of the smartest things I have done is to volunteer work and field experiences in the field of psychology. The department offers a field experience course. Take it. You will learn a great deal in this course because you will learn things in the field that you will not learn in your courses. Also, do not just take the field experience course. You have a long summer and winter break. Find placements close to home to gain even more experience. You will be able to test out different placements, age groups, situations, and locations. I had a total of four placements, and this is one factor that benefited me during my graduate school interviews.
The last advice I would like to provide you with is to make a four year plan. Look at the psychology curriculum and try to lay out all the courses you intend on taking. Time management is something essential to a successful four years. Having a plan will come in handy every semester when you choose new courses, and to make sure you will complete all required courses. I recommend bulking up on courses in the beginning, and lessening the amount of credits your final year. Having a small course load your final year will allow you to focus on applying for jobs, graduate school, or plainly enjoying your last year as a senior. Applying for graduate school could practically be considered a three credit course. It takes up a lot of your free time, believe me.
Enjoy every minute of the next four years because they will fly by. I hope my words of advice have been helpful, and I hope you will take them to heart. I can honestly say that my experience in the psychology department has been wonderful, and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I wish you the best of luck here at the University of Scranton!
I know it may seem a bit scary that you are about to start this whole new chapter of your lives, but trust me it will be one of the greatest experiences of your life. The University is a great place with so many individuals and teachers who care about you and want you to succeed. Being a senior, there are a few words of advice I can give you that may be helpful. First things first, get all of your GE’s out of the way as soon as you can. This includes your math requirements, composition and public speaking, philosophy and ethics, and theology, and humanities. I know a lot of seniors that are currently taking theology/philosophy electives and wish they had gotten it out of the way Freshman or Sophomore year. It makes it easier to focus on your harder major classes in later semesters.
Another thing I would advise you all to do is take up a minor or concentration; we have so many free electives that adding a minor will make scheduling classes much easier. Some popular minors I have seen in addition to the Psychology major are Criminal Justice, Counseling and Human Services, or Human Development. If you can, try and figure out what you want to do with your degree sooner rather than later so you can gear your classes toward that particular field you want to be in.
I know many people in the Psychology field want to pursue advanced degrees after graduating, so there are a few things you may want to keep in mind. If you know you want to go to graduate school in any field, you should take the Abnormal and Personality electives, because from personal experience, I know those are two major classes schools look for. If you are interested in working with kids or in schools, you should definitely take Childhood and Adolescence, Child Clinical, Abnormal Child Psych, Psych Testing and Marital and Family Counseling. If you are more interested in working in a Clinical type setting, you would obviously want to take Clinical Psych, along with Psych Testing and Field Experience. If you know you want to go into a Masters or Ph.D/Psy D. /Ed. S program after your undergraduate career, you may want to start looking into different programs early on, so you know what kind of requirements are necessary to get accepted into a program. You should also take the GRE’s, Praxis, and any other tests required for grad school earlier rather than later in case you need to re-take them. You don’t want to have to worry about not having the scores in on time. Keep in mind, the results of your tests may take a while, so the sooner the better.
You should also take advantage of your advisors! They are there to help you and guide you through the whole process. They have all been in the similar situations, so they know where you are coming from and can help you with anything you need. Advisors are not only there to help with scheduling for the next semester, but to help in any way they can, so take advantage of them. Get very close with your advisor and many of your teachers as well. You will be spending a lot of your time with teachers/advisors, so it’s important to maintain close bonds with them.
Something else I advise you to do is to get involved in any kind of way you can! The Psychology department has a number of different clubs (Psych Club, APSSC, Psi Chi, etc.) and activities going on all the time, so it won’t be hard to be involved! You may also want to ask advisors/teachers about becoming a Teaching Assistant or doing research with them; it looks great on your resume and can be very rewarding. Another great thing to do is volunteer work/service learning. I volunteered at HeadStart and the Humane Society for the four years I have been here and absolutely loved it (many classes in the Counseling and Human Services Department require service learning to pass the class anyway). Volunteering at HeadStart was especially beneficial to me because I will be working in schools with children, and it gave me some exposure.
Lastly, I know it may sound cliché, but try your best not to procrastinate. It really doesn’t help anything and I should know because I am a big time procrastinator. I know it may be hard, especially Freshman year because you are trying to meet people, get into a group, get used to living on your own and being away from home, all while trying to balance school work, but do not let your work slip. A few of my friends slipped Freshman year and ended up having to re-take classes, which crams your schedule for future semesters. Just remember that college is supposed to be one of the best times of your life, and if you plan right and work hard, it will be. College is also about meeting great people and having new experiences, so try not to get too caught up in the work load and enjoy yourself every once in a while, it will keep you sane!
I wish you the best of luck and hope you enjoy Scranton as much as I have. I’ve gotten a great education, while meeting my best friends, and I hope you get to enjoy the same experiences I have!
I am writing to you so that I can share some the experiences I have had here at the University of Scranton as a Psychology major. First off, congratulations on your acceptance into and choice to come to ‘The U’ as we like to call it. You have made the right decision. I know that, at least where I come from, it seemed like my entire graduating high school class was going to Penn State like it was God’s gift to the college world. It wasn’t for me though. I have always attended a smaller school, enjoyed it and performed well. That was one of the major contributing factors to my choice to come here before I even saw the campus for the first time. Who wants to be just a number like you would have been at Penn State? Here at ‘The U’ you are an individual; you can have interpersonal relationships with your professors and the administration, you can set up your course schedule so that it is shaped to fit the exact direction you want to go within a major and you are able to get the liberal arts education that is offered here. Trust me, The University of Scranton has many more positive aspects, but I’ll have to let you find them all out for yourself.
So, you’re a PSYCH major? Awesome, I am too. Well, I wasn’t at first but now I am and I’m graduating and that’s all that matters. Originally I came to ‘The U’ as a nursing student, which didn’t last long at all. I had many qualms with being a nursing student, not so much against the curriculum or the faculty, well maybe one faculty member but that’s not the point. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the nursing program. After a semester I just realized that it was not what I wanted to do anymore and changed my major to psychology (which was incredibly easy to do thanks to our registrar’s office and the help of the CAS deans) since I had a hard time deciding which major to pursue in the first place. I am glad I changed my major because it made my experience here so much better.
The psychology department and curriculum are great because there are so many different courses to take, which makes it easy to find out what type of psychology you are into. Your intro class is also a big help. Depending on what professor you have, that introductory course will be geared towards their own specialty. It seems that a lot of my classmates have been more inclined towards a specific field of psychology based on their intro experience. I cannot speak for myself since I had taken psychology college courses during my senior year of high school and was not required to take intro here, but that did seem to be the trend with everyone that took intro. My best advice is to try and take a little of every professor while taking your core eight classes, which are all required. This way you know what you like and who you like so it becomes a lot easier to fill in your electives.
As far as favorite classes go, I would suggest you take Conditioning and Learning as well as Behavioral Neuroscience. The professor comes off difficult and his method of teaching is a little different from all of the other professors. A lot of the students are put off by this and it seems like I have been an exception to the general consensus but I loved those classes. By the time the final came around for both classes I knew a lot more than I thought I did. I did study my butt off, I did get worried and panicked a little, but I knew the material. The professor makes you work and you do learn your stuff if you do it right. Another important class to take is Clinical Psychology. This is the class that will help you to figure out if you want to actually do clinical and go for your PSYD, or if you would want to stay within PhD programs with research. It helped me, it helped my classmates and it will probably help you. Take the class. All of your other class choices will come easy to you once you take or anticipate these classes. Just do what is right for you.
I know that school work is really important, I will never deny that, but get involved too. If you come to college and just do your classes and that is it, you will regret it come senior year. Join clubs, play sports and go to school events; it only enriches your experience further. I played rugby. Probably one of the best decisions I have made here after choosing to be a psychology major. Another thing that I have gotten involved in is the theater program, I am a theater minor. The shows are fun to participate in and the group of people that work on the plays and become theater majors and minors are good and fun people. If you do not get involved with the theater program at least go see some of the shows, you’d be surprised at how good they are.
I hope this letter gave you more confidence and encouragement that will help you in the next four years. It becomes less overwhelming when you have advice from someone who has been there. My last piece of advice is not to panic; not over a paper, not over a gen. ed., not over poster fest (you will hear about this later and it is not as scary as it seems), and certainly not over finals. If you stay calm you won’t freak out and do badly as a result of freaking out. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Now open them and tackle these next four years and do not forget to have some fun too!
First, I would like to congratulate you on your decision to attend The University of Scranton! The next four years of your life here are going to be a life-changing experience. I cannot say enough good things about Scranton and I am glad I was able to call it home for the past four years. I hope the advice I give you in this letter helps you to have the best experience possible while you are a student here.
When I started as a freshman here, I was a communication major. Writing was always something I was passionate about, but once I started taking journalism classes, I did not enjoy it anymore. During the second semester of my freshman year, I realized that I wanted to change my major. My first piece of advice is to utilize the Career Services office as much as possible during your time here. They are willing to help you with anything, including resume writing, practice interviews, and internship/job searches. When I went to Career Services, I took a test to see what my interests were. Then I was given packets of information for various different majors. There were some personal issues I was dealing with at the time that had led me to begin seeing a therapist at the Counseling Center on campus. This is also an excellent service to take advantage of because the sessions are included in the price of tuition and they are extremely helpful. The counseling sessions helped me immensely, and this pushed me to make a decision to switch my major to psychology. Luckily, I had taken the Introduction to Psychology class during my first semester of freshman year and I was taking Childhood and Adolescence during second semester, so I was not behind on psychology classes. My advice to you is to take a variety of classes during your first year so you know for certain that you want to remain a psychology major. It becomes difficult to change majors as you begin to take more in-depth classes.
As for the psychology department, it is crucial to develop strong relationships with the professors for many reasons. You get to know their research and teaching interests, which allows for opportunities for you to become their research assistants and teaching assistants. Both of these are excellent ways to gain experience in the psychology field and to figure out interests of your own. You will also need letters of recommendation when you are applying to jobs and/or graduate school, so it helps to have strong relationships with many professors. All of the faculty in the psychology department are always willing to meet with you and help you if you need additional help for classes. They want to see you succeed and are always available if you have any questions regarding different careers in psychology.
I would also highly recommend getting involved in clubs, activities, and/or intramural sports as soon as possible. It is an excellent way to meet new people and there are so many options to choose from. Be sure you are able to balance your school work with the extracurricular activities. I was originally a member of seven clubs and organizations, but I soon found that seven was too many, and I had to cut it down to four. Go out of your comfort zone and join clubs that interest you that you may never have joined before. The academic part of college is important, but it is just as important to have a well-rounded experience.
A close family friend from home gave me a piece of advice after the first semester of my freshman year that has stuck with me ever since. He told me that you will never remember the test you failed but you will always remember the friends you stayed up late studying with. The friendships you make in college will last you a lifetime. I met my roommate at the summer orientation for The University of Scranton and we have been roommates for all four years here. She is one of my absolute best friends and I have met all of my other best friends here as well.
I also wanted to give you a couple pieces of non-academic advice. It rains in Scranton more than anywhere I have ever been. Always carry an umbrella with you because the weather in Scranton changes all the time. Find a place on campus that you can go when you need to be alone because there will be times when you just need to get away from your dorm for a little while. The Rose Garden across from Loyola Hall is a beautiful place to sit and relax. Also, when I took a tour of Scranton, my tour guide told me to make sure I tried the smoothies in the library at Java City. Make sure you try a smoothie at some point during your four years here because they are delicious!
I wish you the best of luck with everything you do. Your time here will fly by in the blink of an eye, so make sure that your college experience is unforgettable and make every minute count!
First, I would like to congratulate you on your acceptance to the University of Scranton, Class of 2016. It is an amazing accomplishment. While looking back on my experiences at the University of Scranton, one image comes to mind. It is the image of my parents driving away after dropping me off for the first time at Nevil’s Hall. As I am unpacking my things, I get a rush of nervous excitement as I see other girls moving in, and finally get to meet my roommate. Little did I know she would become my roommate and best friend for my entire University experience.
As I freshman, I had chosen to be a psychology major because I took a class in high school and though it would be interesting. It has been the best decision I have ever made. The psychology department at the University of Scranton is filled with intelligent, humorous, caring, professors who will do anything to help you with whatever you need. My first bit of advice is to be-friend the faculty. Faculty members enjoy when students come to office hours. This can be either for help, or just to chitchat. Think about this now, because those professors will know much more about you when they write your letters of recommendation four years later.
My second bit of advice is whether or not you are interested in graduate school get involved in research. It is a wonderful experience, brings you closer to faculty members, and looks great on a resume. Do not just mess around your first year; go to class, study, work hard, and it will pay off in the end. You want to come across as a diligent student at the beginning of your college career so you do not have to try to make it up later. Psychology is an interesting subject, you picked it as your major and you should want to learn about it. As with any subject, there are moments when class is boring and dry and you just want to leave; however, there are also moments of interesting conversations, mind-blowing facts and knowledge you will hold with you the rest of your life.
My third bit of advice is to take up a minor or a concentration. The psychology curriculum has 33 free credits for you to do this. I was bold and decided to take up two minors. I suggest taking some classes in what you are interested in, see what you like, and go from there. It also looks great on a resume, and adds diversity to your course load. I knew I was interested in criminal justice and counseling, so I declared my minors my sophomore and junior year. Also, I would suggest getting to know professors for your other classes as well, not just your psychology classes. This is helpful if you need a letter of recommendation from a non-psychology faculty member.
My fourth bit of advice is to go on a retreat sometime in your University career, and if you want to go on the SEARCH retreat, I suggest signing up freshman year. I am a senior, signed up sophomore year and did not get the opportunity to go. There are plenty of retreats every year through campus ministries. For clarification, I am by no means religious and do not want to push my beliefs forward; however, some of these retreats are not religious at all. I wish I had gone to one and had a weekend to myself.
My last bit of advice to you is to STUDY ABROAD. This is the biggest regret of my college career and to this day, I am envious of those who made that decision. This is the only time in your life that you will be able to study in another country, live there for 6 months and be engulfed in the culture. Whether it is to an English speaking or non-English speaking country, halfway around the world, or to Canada, GO. If I can go back and do college over again, I would have studied abroad my sophomore year. If you are interested, talk to your advisor now; do not wait as I did, until it was too late.
These four years will be the best years of your life. You will have great memories, meet amazing people, and never want to leave. You may run into people who try to make your live miserable, cheat, lie and steal, but that’s life in general. My ultimate last word of advice is to have fun! You will be able to do whatever you want, whenever you want, and please take
advantage of that. I am not saying go crazy and flunk out of school. However, I am saying know your limits and have a balance between your studies and your down time. If I can rewind time, I would go back to freshman year and do it all over again. In the BLINK of an eye, you will be a senior so I am telling you this because I wish someone would have told me. Find a group of friends who appreciate you for who you are, and friends that you do not have to be phony around. They will be the friends you keep for your entire life, and those friends you will want at your wedding. Live every moment to the fullest with the people you care about the most and do not look back. Good Luck!
Congratulations on your acceptance to the University of Scranton! I hope you enjoy your experience here as much as I have. I am going to offer you some advice that I wish I was given my freshman year of college.
My first piece of advice to you is to get involved. I think my biggest regret is that I was never involved in any sports and the clubs that I was involved in, I was not an active member. Sports and clubs are a great way to meet new people and they help enhance your experience at school. The Psychology Club is a great way to stay connected with other psychology majors and they have many fun activities to be involved in. You can also get involved by volunteering or doing service learning hours. The University of Scranton strongly promotes helping out the community and giving back to them. I have volunteered a few times and it is a great life experience.
You can also get involved by becoming a teaching assistant or working with faculty on their research. I have done both and I think that they have enhanced my learning experience greatly. Being a teaching assistant can be a lot of hard work, but it is very beneficial and looks good on your graduate school applications. I was involved in faculty/student research for the majority of my college career and I loved it. Doing research with a professor helps increase your knowledge of psychology and gives you a glimpse of what you could be doing after you graduate. You can do research with a professor for credit or you can just do it on a non-credit basis and still have it be on your transcript. I enjoyed doing research because I believe it made me understand statistics more because we used it so much in our research. If you are thinking about going to graduate school, I would recommend doing research because most schools want you to have some experience before you arrive. It is also beneficial to be involved in one or both of these opportunities because graduate schools require recommendation letters from your professors and these are great ways for them to get to know you better.
Another piece of advice that I want to offer you is to work hard. College is nothing like high school or at least it was not for me. I never studied much in high school and still received A’s on exams, however this is not the case at college. I recommend taking good notes in class because a majority of your exam questions will come from your notes in most classes. You also need to read the chapters your professors assign, because sometimes they do not have enough time to cover everything in the book, and therefore you must learn it yourself. Also, none of the professors are going to make you study or do your assignments. The psychology professors and other professors at the school are really nice people, but they are not going to keep questioning you about why you have not handed in an assignment nor will they give you extensions on them. Also, if you have any questions at all you should ask your professors and do not ever feel like any question is a dumb one. Make use of their office hours and come to them with anything that is troubling you. Most professors love when students drop by, so do not hesitate to do so! It is up to you to be responsible and accomplish what needs to be done in order to receive a good grade.
I also recommend avoiding procrastination at all costs. I cannot stress how important this is and I wish I was able to take my own advice. You might think that you have plenty of time to work on a project or an assignment if it is not due until a month later or so, but obviously the professor is telling you about it early for a reason. Your workload at the university might be relatively small one week and then the next week you might have two exams and three assignments due. It helps to plan ahead and make sure you know when things are due. I like to write all of my assignments, projects, and exams on a huge calendar that hangs by my computer, so I constantly see it and am aware of due dates. It really is beneficial to start assignments early in order to avoid stress and all nighters. I cannot even remember how many times I have kicked myself for not starting something earlier because I would end up waiting till the last minute and make myself stressed out and sleep deprived. I do not recommend doing this. You also will probably end up missing out on fun activities or spending time with friends if you constantly procrastinate.
I hope you take my advice into consideration and make the most out of your years here at the University of Scranton. Best of luck to you!
I would first like to congratulate and commend you on your decision to attend the University of Scranton. I know that making the final decision can be difficult and daunting, but I can assure you that you have made the right choice! As a graduating Psychology major, I have cherished my time in Scranton, and I believe that I have grown for the better from my experience here. I hope to provide you with some insight into how to take full advantage of your college experience, and to play a small role in your growth as many others have played in mine these past four years.
I would first like to implore you to get involved both in the psychology department and on campus. Whether you are a resident or a commuter, I firmly believe that being well-rounded and engaged in various activities is a critical component of student happiness and growth. Within the psychology department, there are a number of opportunities to get involved, such as the psychology club, assistant teaching or doing research. I, for instance, have been a TA for three courses, and I am so grateful for having had the opportunity to do so. I’ve gained a different perspective and a greater appreciation for the education that I am receiving and the work that goes into good teaching.
I have also been a research assistant for a year and a half. One thing that I regret is not getting involved with research sooner. It is an invaluable hands-on learning experience that not only allows you to hone your skills as a problem solver and researcher, but also provides the perfect environment to establish a relationship with your professors. If you are interested in research, I encourage you to seek out these opportunities as soon as possible. You will be glad that you did, especially if you are planning on attending graduate school. Additionally, I am a member and this year’s chapter president of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. Although only juniors and seniors are eligible to apply, I encourage you to think ahead and work towards Psi Chi as a goal. Again, it is a great way to get involved and also connect with the psychology community at large. Who knows, you may also one day be president!
In addition to my involvement in the psychology department, I have also been an active participant of the theatre department on campus, formally known as University of Scranton Players. The Players have been an integral component of my undergraduate experience, and it is through them that I learned the true meaning of team work. I have been very lucky in the numerous opportunities that I have been given both on and off the stage. I have not only been given the chance to hone my skills as a performer and a creative thinker, but I have also made life-long friendships with my fellow cast and crew mates. No matter where your interests lie, whether it is athletics, art, volunteering, music, etc., I can guarantee that there is a venue available on campus that will cater to your needs. It’s just a matter of looking and being willing to commit!
Second, I strongly encourage you to get to know your professors in and out of the psychology department. Often, students do not utilize the resources available to them out of fear or intimidation, but do not allow this to stop you from engaging with your professors outside of the classroom. Try your best to make time in your schedule to visit their office hours and approach them with any questions that you may have. Believe it or not, they love the company! The faculty and staff in the psychology department are a great source of wisdom and support, and it is because of the relationships that I have established with them that my undergraduate career has been so rich and fulfilling.
Finally, make sure to have fun and to be engaged every step of the way! Being a good student is hard work, but it is possible to maintain your grades and enjoy every minute of your experience. As I am getting ready to embark on a new journey, I cannot stress enough how valuable these four years have been and how easy it is to miss the wonderful opportunities that Scranton has to offer. Be diligent, daring and attentive, and do not let these years simply pass you by. I wish you the best of luck with all of your endeavors in the four years to come. Enjoy the ride!
Congratulations on your acceptance and welcome to the University of Scranton! As a graduating senior psychology major, I hope to provide you with some insight about the University of Scranton, the psychology department, and college living.
Coming to college can be overwhelming and intimidating. It’s normal to feel homesick, anxious, and alone. Making friends will alleviate these feelings. Be open to making friends with everyone. Begin friendships by treating others as you would like to be treated, but “the first time someone shows you who they are, believe them” (Maya Angelou). Get involved by joining clubs, intramural sports, and campus activities. Before you know it, Scranton will become your home.
As a freshman, my favorite aspect of college was freedom from my parents. You are now free to go to sleep and wake up whenever you want. You can party without a curfew. You can choose whether to attend class or to skip. Remember that with freedom comes responsibility. Exercise good judgement. For instance, you are now largely responsible for your safety. At night, do not walk alone in the hill section and always have a buddy at parties.
Your experiences in college will affect your perceptions of others, yourself, and your values. Be open and inclusive. You will learn in philosophy and psychology that happiness is not passive or situational, but active. In other words, happiness is an attitude. Attempt to make the most of every experience and pursue your interests. Bad things and mistakes are inevitable. Do not victimize or isolate yourself. Seek support and find meaning in each experience. Learn from your mistakes and reevaluate your values. When making a difficult decision refer to your moral code. Strive to act in accordance with your values. By doing this, I have found that bad experiences can be empowering as they often reveal great opportunities and stimulate personal growth.
In regards to school work, plan ahead and manage your time wisely using a calendar. Create daily schedules and avoid procrastination by doing work between classes. Find balance and avoid extremes. Work never ends but college does. With that in mind, plan time for fun and relaxation but remember to prioritize your intellectual and personal development.
You will see many of your friends picking classes based on how easy the course is reported to be. Do not base your course choices solely on how hard or easy the class is. Pick classes based on the teacher and the content of the course. Do not be afraid to challenge yourself! There is no point in taking a course that you are not going to learn anything from. Focus on developing new skills (e.g., critical thinking skills, study skills...) rather than strict memorization. Actively engage in your classes and build relationships with your professors. Your professors will prove to be helpful in a variety of areas.
Within the psychology department, professors are usually very easy to talk to, relatable, highly knowledgeable, and happy to help you. You can build relationships with your professors by going to office hours, participating in class, and joining psychology organizations. Never skip or show up late for an appointment! If you are going to miss an appointment or be late, be sure to notify the professor as early as possible. These professors will be writing you recommendation letters, for which they will be asked about your reliability, among other things.
After your freshman year, begin inquiring about teaching assistantships and research opportunities. Both are essential if you plan on attending graduate school. Moreover, research and teaching experience will allow you to get to know your professors and provide you with tremendous opportunities for growth. Teaching experience will provide you with a deeper understanding of your courses, teaching methods, and the process of learning. You will learn the characteristics of an effective teacher and a good student. As a teacher’s assistant, I learned the importance of a learning-centered approach to teaching, ethical teaching principles, evidence-based teaching techniques, and how to balance objective and subjective assessments. Each of my teaching experiences has made me a better student.
Research experience is equally if not more valuable than teaching experience. In my research experiences, I have grown both personally and intellectually. I learned how to better analyze research articles, synthesize information, and write scientifically. I learned how to respond constructively to criticism and communicate effectively. I realized the reward for learning is not the reinforcement of a good grade, but rather the knowledge accumulated, the skills developed, and the final product of one’s research. I gained a new appreciation for the unknown and research controlled trials.
The psychology department at the University of Scranton provides many opportunities for both personal and intellectual growth. It is authentically defined by the “restless pursuit of excellence grounded in gratitude, individual attention to students and respect for the uniqueness of each member of the University community... the promotion of justice, contemplation in action” and dedication to the freedom of inquiry. Embrace this vision, take advantage of opportunities, and dedicate yourself to learning for learning’s sake. . GOOD LUCK!
In less than three weeks I will have graduated from The University of Scranton. I cannot believe that the time has come. Where did the time go? As I reflect on my past four years there are several things that I have learned and various ways in which I have grown. At the University of Scranton I have been shaped into the person that I want to be. As I look forward to my last class of my college career in Alumni Memorial Hall, a place that you will most likely call your second home, I am excited to finally be done the work yet saddened that the future is now upon me.
It seems as if yesterday I was moving into 210 Driscoll Hall. As an eager freshman, I was very unsure and undecided in my future. I started off as a Neuroscience/Pre-Med major, however, about two months into the semester I realized that Chemistry was not my things and Pre-Med was most definitely not in my future. I felt lost in all my classes, except for my Fundamentals of Psychology class. Switching to a Psychology major was one of the best decisions that I made in my college career. The Psychology Department is very accommodating and extremely diverse. One of my biggest suggestions would be that if you find that you like a professor, stay with them. For example, one professor here has taught me Abnormal Psych, Research Methods, and Abnormal Child Psych; if you find that you like a professor, regardless if you like material, you tend to excel in the class. Also, take some challenging classes. There are some classes that I dreaded taking but really learned the material once I challenged myself. When it comes to classes, take classes you like and professors that you enjoy, but also remember to challenge yourself every now and then.
College is your place to choose what you want to do, who you want to be, and who you want to share your four years with. If you would have told me in August 2008 that in May 2012 I would still be friends with the people in my freshman dorm, I never would have believed you. Freshman year is key in making friendships. I look at my two best friends now and we met a couple months into freshman year and have lived together for the past three years. Your friends become your family in college; you live, sleep, drink, and breathe with this people for four years. When it comes to roommates, my best recommendation is to try to get along with them but to also be friends with other people outside of him/her. From my own experience, my freshman year roommate and I spent almost the whole day together. Between taking the same classes, eating all meals together, and having the same friends, we didn’t have a break from each other. Eventually we got sick of each other. It wasn’t until we became friends with different people that we became close and valued each other as more than roommates. She is a great friend of mine now and interestingly enough, I will be sitting next to her at graduation.
My college experience has been better than I could have ever imagined. There are many things that I have learned as a Psychology major that I know will help me in my future. As some closing comments here is the best advice I could give to you as an incoming freshman. The library, like Alumni Memorial Hall, will become your home away from home; utilize the resources that every building on campus, including the library, has to offer. Develop a relationship with your advisor, (s)he will steer you through your college career and assist you in registering for classes. Do research and/or become a teacher’s assistant; developing a better relationship with your professors is extremely important and rewarding. Become involved. Join clubs that spark your interest. Go to events on campus just because; by the time you graduate you will have a closet full of free tee shirts from these campus events. Become friends with a wide array of majors and grades; walking down the Commons and saying “hi” to half the people you pass is the best feeling in the world. Go on retreats and truly live out the Jesuit ideals of this university. Most importantly, cherish these four years. To quote Tom Petty, “You have four years to be irresponsible. Relax. Work is for people with jobs. You'll never remember class time, but you'll remember the time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So stay out late…Spend money you don't have…The work never ends, but college does...” Best of Luck Class of 2016!
Welcome to the University of Scranton! The next four years are going to pass by so fast. I can barely believe I am just about to graduate. I did not come in as a psychology major but I am very glad that I added psychology as a double major. It has been very fun!
My advice as a psychology major is to take a variety of psychology course because you never know what might interest you. Take as many of the core classes as you can! If you plan on going on to graduate school, then I highly recommend the Psychology Handbook that the psychology department produces. It is very helpful in recommending courses that you should take based on your future career interests. You only get a psychology advisor in your sophomore year and the career development course is in your junior year so you have to do some planning on your own as a freshman. Also if you plan on taking the GRE psychology, I recommend the GRE website which breaks down what the GRE psychology covers and can help in deciding what courses to take.
Speaking of advisors, you will get assigned a faculty advisor next year but feel free to go speak to any of the other professors. In fact, I recommend you get advice from other professors anyway! They are more than happy to give advice of any kind. I was lucky to pick my advisor because I am also a neuroscience major but I also went to other professors for advice. The freshmen advising center can be useful (personally I found that they were not very helpful) but they do not give the specialized advice that your psychology professors can give you. They know the department in and out! If you do not feel comfortable with the faculty advisor you are assigned, you can request another advisor.
Get involved in the psychology department! You can join the psychology club or A.P.S.S.C. You can do research with a professor or be a student teaching assistant! Do not be afraid to ask your teachers if you can help them with their research or to help out with courses by being their teaching assistant. Participate in class and do the reading so you can learn as much as much as you can!
There are a couple of things I wish I could have done. I did not have the chance to take as many electives I would have liked. I would have like to take more classes in other departments. If you are interested in classes that are in other department, take them! It will give you a change of pace and to take a class just for fun. I wish dearly that I could have gone to study abroad. I know a few people who have studied abroad and they have loved it. It takes a lot of planning and you have to start the process in advance but it is an amazing opportunity that many people miss out on, including myself! Another thing I wish I could have participated in is one of the travel courses that are offered during intersession and summer time. They can be expensive but from what I hear, they are worth it.
I found that being a student who lives two hours away can get in the way of getting a job. Luckily for me, there are a couple of options on campus that can help with that. You can work for admissions as a Student Ambassador because you only have to work while school is in regular session. You can also work for the Catering Department because they work with you so you do not have to work during breaks. Best of part of that job is that sometimes we get to sample the food.
It can be difficult to be away from home. I know I missed my family and friends very much my first semester. It helps to make friends on campus to help with homesickness. And as much as I enjoyed going home on the occasional weekend, I found that at times I would miss out on things. There is so much going on campus on any one day. I have also had some difficulty with roommates because let’s face it, when you live with someone you do not know well in a very small space, there can be friction. If you have problems with your roommates do not hesitate to get help from your RA or if it comes to it, to request to move into another room. Lucky you if you get along well with your roommate!
There were a few things that could have gone better here and there but overall, I look back pleasantly at my years at the U. I loved most of my classes and I have made very good friends. I hope you have a wonderful couple of next years and I wish you the very best of luck in any future endeavors!
Dear Incoming Freshman Student,
Hello and welcome to the University of Scranton! I’m sure you have many mixed feelings about starting a new chapter in your life, and that’s normal. However, my time at the University has been the best four years of my life. I have made great friends and memories and have taken excellent classes with some amazing professors. Also, as a Psychology Major, I was able to learn a lot about people, life, and career opportunities which made me an even better-rounded individual. During college I’ve had fun times, tough times, stressful times, and relaxing times away from my parents. You will experience all of those feelings too but remember to always stay positive and learn a lesson from everything.
I came into the University very nervous, shy, and anxious. It’s normal to feel apprehensive about starting a new life journey, but try your best to find new experiences, and gain new friendships. I know it’s easier said than done, but it’s worth it towards the end. For my Intro to Psych course I had Dr. Nolan who really opened my eyes to the world of psychology. I found out that not only do psychologists help people who are going through life troubles, but they research and work on many fields of interests. I never knew there were so many different areas such as evolutionary, cognitive, social, childhood, adulthood, sensation and perception, and psychological testing. Keep an open mind in your seminar courses and class discussions because you might take an interest in a certain field that you never knew about.
When my sophomore year started, I began researching possible graduate schools and I will be attending Montclair State University in the fall and pursuing a degree in community counseling. I would like to help the teenager and early adult populations. Also, I applied for some internship positions and had some great opportunities to work at behavioral health centers over summer and winter breaks throughout my sophomore and junior years. I not only did this to fill up my resume, but it’s beneficial to get to know the field you will be entering and talk to different types of clinicians and human service workers. Also, even though these positions are mostly unpaid for pre – baccalaureate students, the experiences and knowledge gained from internships are priceless.
In my junior year, I became very involved with the Psychology Club here at the University and eventually became vice president in my senior year. This club helped me meet a lot of great people in my last two years here. I helped run a lot of charitable and exciting events on and off campus. Also, involving myself in this club helped me become friendlier with the faculty, classmates, and incoming psychology freshman.
If you decide to stay with psychology, here are some things to remember. Get involved with the department. There are plenty of things to do such as: research assistantships, the Psychology Club, and teacher’s assistantships. The professors are very friendly and are always available to help their students. Also, don’t wait until the last minute to begin researching graduate schools, internship opportunities, and career paths. The longer you wait the harder it will be to catch up towards the end. If you get experiences and knowledge under your belt early, you will be in great shape.
Looking outside the psychology department, many things can happen on campus, such as: roommate issues, academic troubles, and emotional problems. My one piece of advice for you is to get help for whatever it is you are having trouble with. There are people in residence life, CTLE, the library, and counseling center who are willing and able to solve problems you are having or answer questions. Those departments are working for you, never forget that. Personally, I have gone through all of those problems I just listed, the biggest one being roommate issues. Residence life is just one of the many excellent departments here at the University that is willing to help no matter what the issue. Also, be careful when you are off campus with friends. Use the buddy system, never walk alone, and never stray far late at night.
Stay involved, active, interested, and most importantly, stay positive. This is your one chance to make something of yourself. With a college degree, especially one from the University of Scranton, you can learn to better yourself and others. Best of Luck!