Welcome to KPU Psychology! Whether it is your first year or not, the psyc program has so much to offer you; even more than I can even begin to tell you in this letter.
When you enter your new classes, it may seem intimidating – there are 34 other students in there with you. Just remember, they are also there to learn! As scary as it sounds, speak up in class. Even if you do not know the answer, give your best guess. Trust me, it will make speaking in public so much easier over time. In addition, it will help you become more familiar with the subject and help instructors get to know you (in a good way!).
This brings me to my next piece of advice: Speak to your instructors. Instructors are people too, and they want to talk to you – even the ones who seem intimidating at first. Building a professional relationship with faculty will help you navigate your undergrad career and beyond. Also, you will need references for work or grad school, and faculty can make great references!
Did you know that volunteering can help you a ton in education, career aspirations, and personal growth? Fortunately, KPU has plenty of opportunities, even just within the psyc department! The KPS is the student-led club for psyc students. The KPSJ is an academic, peer-reviewed journal that is run by students, staff, and faculty. Research labs allow you to gain experience and earn publications and presentations (and find out if you like research).
One final thing is to make sure you have some down time. Burnout is a reality for so many students (including me), so it is essential to make sure you are not overworking yourself. If you feel you have too much to do, it is okay to say no to opportunities or to drop a class. Your courses can be difficult, but it is crucial you can come out of the other side in one piece. Socializing with classmates is a great way to destress. Remember, you are not in this alone!
Amanda Dumoulin, BA Psychology (Honours) Student