When I found out I had been chosen to be a recitation leader for psych 101, I was pumped. I walked into class the first day with the goal of evangelically turning these 50 unsuspecting students into psychology majors. But now that the semester is wrapping up, I realize we were so busy talking about awesome psych stuff, I never got to highlight the positives (and downplay the negatives) of the major itself.
1) You get to excite people:
Strike up a conversation with anyone. After a minute or two, the question always comes up, “What’s your major?” When you say psychology, his or her eyebrows are bound to reach mid-forehead, if not hairline levels. This reaction may result from the realization that his or her deepest, darkest secrets have been analyzed during this 90-second discussion, but usually it occurs from feelings of genuine excitement to meet someone studying something so fascinating.
2) You get to help people – now and later:
I don’t have my bachelor’s yet, but when people learn I’m a psych major, they make me put them on “the list.” This is a roster – created by the first person to learn you’re a psych major – existing in your brain of all the people you will counsel when you’re a legit psychologist after a bazillion years of graduate school. If that sounds like a long time, know that even in my undercooked state of psychological education, people still ask me for advice and utilize my secret-keeping skills. And honestly, helping people feels great.
3) You get mysterious:
There are various perspectives in psychology (mini psych lesson: psychoanalytic, behavioral, biological, cognitive, humanistic, and evolutionary). The answers to seemingly simple questions (e.g. Why am I procrastinating during finals week?) vary greatly depending on which perspective a psychologist prescribes to. To psych majors – who learn to consider every angle – everything “depends.” Our inability to give a “yes/no” answer makes everyone wonder what’s going on in our brooding minds. When we’re sitting quietly, not thinking about anything in particular, everyone wonders if they’re in an experiment; we keep everyone wondering no matter what we’re doing. Being a psych major gives you instant mysterious cred.
If you’re still not convinced psych is right for you, consider what is clearly my most valid argument:
Jon Stewart, Natalie Portman, Jerry Bruckheimer, Wes Craven, and Katherine Hepburn majored in psychology.
Enough said. You know what to do.
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