So you’ve pined over the USQ Psychology Program and Course webpage, and now you’ve cleared you social calendar to attend one of the USQ Open Days in August. Well done! You are already better prepared than I was, when I first considered going to uni. Although I graduated with my first degree earlier this year, it wasn’t all beer and skittles. I had to learn things the hard way, I made mistakes with my enrolment pattern, and I had no idea about all the resources available to me. So, armed with my knapsack of real-life experiences, below is a guide to USQ Open Day prepared especially for you, the budding Psychology student:
- A Bachelor of Science (Psychology) is just the tip of the iceberg to becoming a Registered Psychologist. Applying to USQ is too easy and can be done from your smart phone, on a bus, at 4am in the morning, whether you are sober or not. Courtesy of hindsight, I’d recommend that before jumping in and making any impulsive, long-term decisions about your future, that you talk it through with people who have experience in the field first. When you decide to study psychology it is important you know what you are getting yourself into. When I applied I was quitting smoking, going through a break-up, wasn’t happy at work, and thought “I need a change, I should study Psychology, I’d like to help people.” Had I investigated further than just the front page of the USQ website and had a broader knowledge of psychology than what I had seen on Dr. Phil, I would have discovered that psychology is more than just couches and inkblot tests. There is a heavy focus on statistics, report writing, and time-wise it takes at least six years to become a registered Psychologist. Of course all of this is openly discussed when you talk to faculty members in the Health sessions activities or at the info pods, and is illustrated delightfully below.
- A Bachelor of Science (Psychology) doesn’t have to be an exclusive relationship. Imagine my surprise when, one year into studying my degree, I realised I could use my elective courses to complete a second major. It was perfect, I was going to combine it with the Business HR major and become a psych-commerce-powerhouse. Unfortunately, I had already wasted an elective on a unit I wasn’t even interested in (Intro to Law isn’t as upbeat as Legally Blonde would have you believe). The moral of the story? Because I didn’t have enough elective units left in my remaining two years to complete the second major, I missed out on an opportunity to maximise my employability. So as tempting as it may be on Open Day to just focus on Psychology related sessions, take some time out to visit the info pods of other faculties and check out all the courses on offer. You will have eight electives, use them wisely!
- Acronym Overload: Know your TLCs, OACs and SROs. I’m just going to say it; a Psychology degree will require you to be statistics-savvy. If, like me, you’ve been out of school long enough to forget how to use a scientific calculator, you may be interested to know there are free workshops held by The Learning Centre (TLC) that help you with just that! If you have been out of school for a really, really long time, you may not even know how to start your uni journey, thankfully the Open Access College (OAC) can point you in the right direction. Of course, I had no idea about either of these resources until after I needed them, so consider yourself ahead of the game there. One resource I did utilise was my Student Relationship Officer (SRO). Uni can feel like a big place, but the “Ask USQ” button on the USQ website will get you in touch with your SRO whenever you need a hand, without the subscription fees of Ask Bongo or Ask Jerry. But don’t just take my word for it, TLC, OAC, and SROs have info pods at the Open Days, so remember to meet these acronyms in person!
Although the Acronym IQ isn’t a scientific construct, I think it should be. Masters thesis maybe? Finally, to give you a taste of being a student, here’s some further reading… you’ll see this a lot :-/
- USQ Open Day: http://usq.edu.au/future-students/experience/open-day
- Psychology Course Info: http://www.usq.edu.au/sciences/psychology/
- TLC: http://www.usq.edu.au/learningcentre/workshops
- OAC: http://www.usq.edu.au/oac/aboutoac
- SRO: http://www.usq.edu.au/current-students/support/meet-sro
If you’ve got any Open Day advice of your own, for Psychology students or others, share it below!