Surviving Psychology

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MISHWAKA— Many students find that the study of psychology is intriguing, but it is also very difficult. A few years ago, a group of students set about to start a once-per-semester seminar that would help other students with tips and pointers for surviving some of the more difficult courses.  

This year the seminar was held on Feb. 4. 

“We find that typically after the first test in some of our upper-level classes students don’t necessarily do as well,” said Dr. Norm Spivey, professor of psychology. “The psych club officers... essentially just kind of run a little seminar and kind of describe, ‘here’s this class, here’s how I studied for it, and here are the tips that I can give you.’” 

Spivey said that they have considered moving the seminar to come after the second test instead of after the first test, because he’s noticed that many students who don’t do well on the first test tend to think that they can take care of improving future scores themselves. 

“It’s a little frustrating for me at times when I don’t see as many students take advantage of it,” said Spivey. “We’re trying to provide opportunity, trying to provide a way for students to get better.” 

Spivey said that over the years, the students have added details such as power-point presentations to help the seminar be more fun and interactive. 

Carson Bollinger, a freshman psychology major, attended the seminar. 

“They had food there, so that’s always really nice,” said Bollinger. “Getting a grasp on the other teachers that I haven’t had yet, that was really nice... I also liked how open and relaxed it was.”  

This year the student presenters were Dalena Haddock, who discussed social psychology and cognitive psychology; Ashley Baughman, who discussed biological psychology; and Eric Freel, who discussed abnormal psychology.  

“What was so exciting for me is that this was generated by students,” said Spivey. “It wasn’t something that I said, ‘you need to do this,’ no, they came up with it themselves and have done a pretty good job of promoting it.” 

The next seminar will be in the fall. 

“If you have any difficulty, I really recommend going,” said Bollinger. “They help immensely, and you can grow closer to people.” 

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