This week, I wanted to talk to a student with the behavioral sciences department, so I picked a junior named Angela, who is majoring in psychology and minoring in law & society. Angela is also involved on campus as a member of Zeta Tau Alpha, one of Drury’s four sororities, and Enactus (formerly SIFE). I asked her five questions about what it’s like to be a psychology major at Drury, and this is what she had to say:
Why did you decide to become a psychology major at Drury University?
I decided to become a psychology major at Drury because I knew that I wanted my future career to consist of helping people in one way or another, and psychology would provide me with a great foundation in order to do so.
So far in your area of study, which class has been your favorite and why?
So far, my favorite class in psychology has been Psychology and the Law. The class consisted of ways psychology aids the legal process. We listened to various speakers including a demonstration of a polygraph test, as well as a forensic psychologist who works at the Federal Medical Center. We also learned how mental disorders are treated in the court and jail systems as well as how various psychological factors can alter eyewitness testimony in court.
What are some challenges you’ve faced being a psychology major?
My biggest challenge I have faced as a psychology major has been deciding what to do with my degree once I graduate. The great thing about a psychology degree is that it can provide you with many career opportunities to pursue such as law, clinical psychology, or industrial organizational psychology, just to name a few. The problem for me is that I have a wide variety of interests in the psychology field, and it has been hard for me to narrow it down to one decision. Going to graduate or law school is a big financial decision, so I want to be confident in the path I take.
Give me some examples of projects you’ve completed for your major:
The biggest project I have completed as a psychology major is a year-long research project for Advanced Behavioral Research. ABR is required to graduate for all behavioral science majors. The class requires your research team to come up with an experiment, run the experiment, and present the findings of your experiment to a national psychological conference, as well as Drury students and faculty. It is one of the most challenging classes the behavioral sciences offers, but it has allowed me to apply many of the classes I have taken for my major such as behavioral statistics, scientific writing, and research methods. It has also given me confidence towards applying to graduate schools, as I know I will have already had significant behavioral science research under my belt.
What kind of advice would you give to a prospective student who is looking into studying behavioral science at Drury?
The biggest piece of advice I can give to a prospective student about looking into the behavioral sciences is to try and have a clear idea of what kind of psychology you would like to pursue. Many electives such as industrial organizational psychology or personality theory allow you to expand on your interests in a specific field of psychology.
Because I have been unsure about what type of psychology I want to pursue, my psychology electives have been more about what interested me at the time, rather than what I could potentially apply to a future career. The best thing about the behavioral sciences department is that every professor has your best interest in mind. In my three years as a psychology major, I have never felt like I could not go to a professor when I was in need of some help. All of the professors are fun and personable who want to see you succeed in whatever career path you decide, and make sure you are given every opportunity to do so.
For this feature, I’m going to take a one week break. Thank you to the first three students who have agreed to let me interview them!