At a Glance
Hi there! My name is Emily and I am in the Social Science Faculty studying Psychology.
I've always found that I like meeting new people and getting to know everyone in different ways to be really fun and as I got older I learned that I could study people and behaviours as a career (which is incredibly cool). One thing I've always known is that I love working with kids and being able to help people overall. Psychology allows you to study the human mind and learn how different things can have an influence on an individual. I also had the opportunity to talk to some students who are already in the psychology program and I knew right away that it was something I wanted to study.
Western was my first choice for schools to come to for a lot of reasons, one of them being that it is one of the top schools for psychology. I didn't know too much about the school overall before coming but as soon as I came I was really glad I chose Western. There are a lot of clubs and events that are with the school and specifically to your program. This can help you meet new people in your program and faculty and help you discover new resources that can help with academics.
The directions that Western’s psychology program can take you in are tremendous and I'm really happy that I'm in this program and faculty.
MY FIRST YEAR COURSES
The great thing about psychology is that first year you have a lot of room to make your schedule flexible and take different classes to learn what you enjoy and what you don’t.
When you take Psychology 1000 you will learn SO MUCH. I took a trilogy class in high school (mix of learning sociology, psychology, and anthropology) and it only scratched the surface of what psychology was. The text book has a lot of new information in it and it might seem overwhelming because you may have heard of a few things but a lot of it is very new. You’ll go over a ton of aspects of psychology but they're all really interesting. Some of my favourite things to learn about were different disorders, treatments, different theories (that you’ll learn to apply to basically everything) and some of my chapters focused on development.
When studying for this class I tried to simply highlight key aspects and take a few notes right before the exam and quickly learned that highlighting things doesn't make you know it. All the exams are in multiple choice format.
Best tips to study for this class was:
To read the text book throughout the year and take notes on the important things
When the exam comes up go over them
Think about how it's related to other concepts
Use flash cards to ensure that you truly do know the information
My best advice for this class is definitely read the textbook before trying to study for the exam and don't simply memorize the material but think about how it can be applied to other material.
STATS 1015 A/B
This is the other half of the first year math credit that I took and I found a lot of the material that I learned was incredibly relevant to psychology. Material such as what the p value was and how to get to it, what different graphs represented and which ones were which, and a lot of descriptive statistics that are needed for psychology research.
I took this class in second year because I made a mistake and didn't take it in first year, but for psychology you need one full credit of math which is why I include it here. If you’re worried about taking math in university because it's not your strongest area, this is definitely a class to take because it will be one of the easier math classes to understand.
For studying, same as with Stats 1228, I recommend doing the practice questions and practice exams as they will help you prepare a ton.
As psychology is looking at studying the human mind and functions, I thought the study of humans working together in society to be a good compliment. This was a really good class because I could relate it to some of the things I was learning in psychology to the material in sociology. I found the class to be really engaging and I loved the prof, he was really easy to relate to and gave some of the best advice I heard for first years.
Studying for exams in this class is similar to psychology:
Make flash cards
Look at what was said in class because that will be the most important information
For the psychology module you need one full credit of math and Stats 1228 is only a half credit, but a really useful credit. You don't need to take this class specifically for the module but I highly recommend it for psychology students. This class goes through three different chapters- counting, probability, and random variables. I have never been great at math so this class was good for me to understand the concepts and do well. As this class is also a statistics class, a lot of the stuff that was learned will help future psychology students when it comes to conducting your own research in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year classes.
When it comes to studying for this class, the best advice I can give is do the practice questions and exams. The exams are a mix of multiple choice and long answers, but you need to know how to get to the answer.
WORLD LIT 1030
First thing that comes to mind for this class is how amazing the prof is. It's a super small class (I think it was about 30-40 people) and the Professor tries to get to know everyone which is really amazing when you need any help. In this class you learn about different literature from around the world starting with the oldest documented story all the way to readings from japan. I was never a huge reader and never had too much interest in ancient scripture but learning about how stories were told and relating it to different cultures was incredibly interesting. It is an all year class and I got a really good grade in this class. Definitely recommend going to all the classes because the prof will give you all the information you need to do amazing.
To study for this class be sure to read the small assigned readings and as long as you go to class and take notes in class, you don't need to take a lot of notes on the readings.
This was the only essay class I took in first year and it was a lot more challenging than I anticipated. It was a full year class learning European history from around the 17th century to the present day (which if you don't know A LOT happened in that time). I hadn't taken history since Gr 9 so I had basically no background knowledge of what I was learning but I still found the class to be really interesting. Be warned there is a lot of reading for the class but the small readings were the most interesting.
I found the best thing I got from this class was learning how to write proper essays and convey an argument. The class is a full year course and there is an essay each term. The first one I did poorly on but from doing the work in class and mainly doing work in tutorial, I was above the average on the second essay and it remains something I'm still proud of today. You’ll learn a lot about both World Wars, how the slave trade worked, and a lot more information that is really good to know.
If you take this class you’ll learn a lot of great information, just be prepared to do a lot of reading.
This french class is not an introductory class for those just learning to speak french but is a class for those who were in french immersion or have done an equivalent to grade 12 core french. I was in french immersion all throughout grade school so I thought I would do really well in this class. One thing I learned quickly is that my grammar was terrible. For a lot of core french students the focus was proper grammar where french immersion students focused more on communication. This class definitely focused more on grammar. If you feel your grammar is strong or you want to improve your grammar while still speaking and listening in french, I highly recommend this class.
The sections for the class were small which meant you were learning in a class of about 30 other students which was really helpful for when you needed help with some of the work. The professors got to know everyone as the class was small and we were all together for the full year. Studying for this class will vary by preference but the best advice I have is when you need help, reach out to your prof or TA.
KEY BUILDINGS ON CAMPUS
SOCIAL SCIENCE BUILDING
1151 Richmond St, London, ON
NORTH CAMPUS BUILDING
2004 Perth Dr, London, ON
UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY CENTRE
1151 Richmond St, London, ON N6A 2K5
MY FAVOURITE STUDY SPOTS ON CAMPUS
Social Science Building 1st-3rd floor
(great for both individual and group work)
UCC 4th floor
(they have spots that are amazing for individual work)
If you’re looking at adding in a minor or switching into another program, go see academic counselling or the department head, they will help a lot
Use your Soph! They will know a lot of good study spots can help or find others to help if you’re confused or struggling with anything
FINAL WORDS OF WISDOM
LEARN EVERYTHING POSSIBLE ABOUT YOUR PROGRAM.
First year I somewhat cost through without really understanding what I might want in the upcoming years which ended up hurting in the long run. When you’re coming into university you probably aren't thinking about what job you want right away, if you want to go to grad school, or what the future holds, but it's really good to keep your options open. Looking at things like switching into the Honours Specialization Program can open up a lot of doors including grad school programs and job opportunities.
Join different activities! In high school I never was big on joining a lot of clubs because a lot of them didn't interest me a lot but I promise you you will find something to spark an interest at Western. Things like being a soph is such an amazing experience because you can meet so many amazing people who will bring you so many new experiences. I also work at the Wester Recreation Student Center on campus as a lifeguard and have made some great friends while making money at the same time. Doing these things may seem small but will actually make a huge difference in your overall university experience.
Finally the biggest thing that you will probably hear a million times throughout the year is to check in on yourself. Having support in different ways from being in touch with family, seeing old friends, and making bonds with new friends can make a huge difference. There are a ton of resources for help on campus to help with any problem that comes your way.
I hope this helps bring some understanding to what being in social science is like and even more specifically what being in psychology is like. Western's Social Science is a great faculty to be in and I hope this has helped to show you that! :)