Everything I Wish I Knew As A Psych Major

Being a Psych major gets you many uncalled-for questions such as ‘are you analyzing me’, ‘what do you think about my personality’ and ‘Is psych all about Freud’. However, our years spent studying Psych can be a few of the hardest, yet pretty awesome at the same time. Many may consider it the ‘easy’ science but it definitely isn’t. 

Now that I have survived three years of Psych, I wanted to share all the things I wish someone had told me. 

McGill is one of the best research universities in Canada, especially for Psychology and Neuroscience. The greatest of the great have been at McGill, such as Wilder Penfield, Brenda Milner, and Ronald Melzack. You can be a part of cutting-edge research! Whether you want to go to grad school or not, I suggest you get involved in a lab from your first year. You can start as a volunteer and then apply for Honours or do a research course available for Majors. By doing Honours or a research course, you’ll be able to do a project with a thesis. Personally, I wasn’t sure research was for me but once I got some experience I realized how much I enjoyed it. So, don’t scratch it off before you’ve tried it. Start contacting Professors early in, it takes quite a few emails but don’t give up! Also, even if you don’t end up going to grad school in Psych, the experience will make you stand out.

 Get ready for Stats. Thought you got rid of Math when you picked Psych? Well, surprise you haven’t. People don’t realize but a core aspect of research is statistics. Thus, two statistics courses are required. However, if you’re sure of Psych grad school, I’d recommend a basic course in Computer science or any other coding language. It will give you an edge and make research that much easier.

 Don’t be terrified of Lea 132. When you first come to McGill, all of your psych classes will be massive from 600 to 300 people. This can be intimidating. But don’t lose hope!! Once you get done with your required courses, the upper level 300/400/500 classes are amazing. Find what type of classes interest you and you’ll be set. Also, take a seminar, they are super small and fun!

 Get to know your professors. This goes for any major but with Psych and our massive classes, we have to make a bit more effort.  

Lastly, the psych department at McGill is spectacular but not without its flaws. But try to make the best of it by venturing out and making opportunities for yourself. Good Luck!!!

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