Sarah Grace Angcahan Acobera, a junior from the Philippines, said she was originally an English major before her mission but decided to switch to psychology when she got back because her passion lies in making “changes in [people’s] lives.”
“I felt like there was something else that I wanted to do. The idea that through counseling you would be able to help somebody overcome any addictions or problems…in a different way other than physically, but mentally, is very important to me.
“I thought psychology sounded like a good major and it was applicable to things like business, law, and many other things.”
“It’s [unique] because we study human behavior and mental health, and our focus is to help people with behavior disorders or mental health issues. Of course, it’s comparable to social work, but I think we do it in such a way that we incorporate it with statistics.”
“I want to be a researcher because I think researching new things, especially scientific things, would help future studies and confirm truths or lies. Also, all companies everywhere have researchers, and I think that it’d be applicable to business, marketing, science, and education.”
She said she would like to work in the business setting where she can apply her psychological knowledge to identify customers’ needs to improve the performance of companies.
“My favorite class is Social Research Methods (PSYC 305) [by] Dr. Miller because that made me realize I can do things that I thought I could not do. I can really learn something if I put hours of work into it.”
She said she also likes Abnormal Psychology (PSYC 440) because she can gain knowledge to “change something in somebody’s life” by knowing types of abnormal disorders.
“After waking up [at 6 or 7 a.m.] and praying, I go straight to my computer and read many of the books they assign us to read. In Psychology 405, we have two books to read every week, and then in Abnormal we have one book. I typically go right into my computer and read until 30 minutes before my class, and then I go to class.
“In between classes, I open up my computer again and try to read a little bit. After I go to classes, [I] get into my computer and read more and write more.”
She said she also spends a lot of time working at the PCC, studying with two research groups, and reading and writing.
“[There are] around 150 people. In each class, there are around 30, that is the max. If the class is small, it would be around 15 people.” Paul Buckingham, academic advisor for psychology, said he estimates there are around 200.
She said she spends 3 to 5 hours a day on her major.
“It’s way fun [and] very interesting! Anybody I’ve talked to says that psychology is a very interesting major if they’ve taken Psychology 111. It’s very applicable to many fields. Also, it helps to explain human behavior, so you kind of understand why people act in a certain way.”
“[You don’t get] enough sleep [because of] all of the reading and writing and all of the many papers we have to write every week. Sometimes, it can be very exhausting.”
She also said some people tend to think psychology students just try to read minds and fool them. She said, “We are not witches, we are scientists.”