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Nay El-Helou 07 Oct 2014

Ten Things Only Psychology Majors Will Understand

It’s the major rumored to turn you into crazy person. It’s the major your parents and neighbors told you not to go into. It’s the career everyone you know advised you against. And yet you chose it anyway. And you’re enjoying every moment of it. Here are ten things only psychology majors understand.

1. You Don’t Have Super Powers

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People think you can read their minds and perhaps even foretell their futures. But you can’t. You know that’s not how psychology works, right?

2. There’s No Multiple Choice in Psychology

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Non-majors take Psychology 201, get a good grade, and assume the whole degree is like a PSY-201 course. It’s not. While you were busy memorizing factual formulas (I’m not saying that’s an easy thing), we were working on a bunch of theories to analyze, link together and apply to case studies and real-life scenarios in a way that may or may not end up with a passing grade.

3. MCQ Who?!

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This is another common misconception caused by the sweetness that is PSY-201. No, psychology exams are not, and cannot, be made up of your typical one-answer multiple choice questions. When you’re a psychology major, you will walk out of an exam wondering if you got any of your essay questions right, and hoping you didn’t misdiagnose your imaginary patients.

4. The Homework

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Papers, presentations, projects, research… fingers crossed you get SOMETHING right.

5. We’re Not All Relaxed, Happy Students

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As a psychology student who might end up treating people for their depression, people assume you’re living in the clouds. Of course, you’re not. You’re just another person with a lot on your mind, facing problems like everyone else — and learning about disorders you hope you never have to deal with yourself.

6. You’re Not an Actual Psychologist… Yet

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All of your engineering, medicine, etc., friends come to you for help assuming you have all the answers to their worst problems. You’d be happy to help, of course, but it’s going to take you a few more years of studying before you can properly treat anyone.

7. You Know the Difference Between OCD and OCPD

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You know what OCD is, you know what OCPD is, and you can tell them apart. Unlike PSY-201 lay people, you know that someone with OCPD wants everything to be aligned properly. Someone with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) will take ten showers a day, turn twice in place, count steps, and engage in other repetitive habits.

8. The Friendly Freud

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Though he doesn’t look so friendly in his pictures, Freud to you is like a father or brother. You respect him, you understand him, you sometimes even disagree with him. Nonetheless, you will always come back to him when things get tough and you’re out of ideas. Oh, and as a Psy major you know that psychology is not all about Freud. And Freud is not all about sexuality.

9. Stop the Psychobabble

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A lot of people assume that all you do, all day long, is analyze every single word people utter, every single move they make, and treat them as potential patients. You know you COULD do all that, but you won’t until they visit you in your clinic when you have a degree and your own practice.

10. Professors are your BFFs

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Have you ever met a mean psychology professor? Of course not.