Tackling Psychology as a Subject – What Are the Essential Factors?

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At its core, psychology is the study of human behavior, thought, and people’s interactions with their environment. Psychology isn’t just about brain chemistry or how much sleep you got last night. It is a broad discipline that touches on all aspects of our lives. We see it every day: in sports, marketing, politics, and even product design.

All this may make psychology seem like an important subject to study, which it is. However, it also means that it’s a pretty difficult one. The main reason why many students struggle with psychology classes is they often have trouble applying the lessons they learn in class to the real world. 

In this article, I’ll explain some of the main concepts of psychology.  

Accepting It Is Going to Be Difficult

In the beginning, you might find psychology to be difficult. It can be hard to understand, and many people struggle with it. You’re not alone! Psychology is a difficult subject for many students (and even for some teachers).

It takes effort to learn psychology. If you want to get good grades in your classes, it will take a lot of reading, writing, and thinking about what you are studying. You may need more time than in other subjects because there is a lot of information and new concepts to learn.

It is easy for students to get lost when studying psychology because numerous theories and concepts can seem confusing at first! However, you can work at understanding them by reading or re-reading different sources until they begin making sense. You can apply them in real-life situations using examples, then these ideas will become easier over time.

Understanding the Nature of Difficulty

You can take efforts to understand

  • Why are you having difficulty with your subject?
  • How can you fix it?
  • There are solutions out there for you
  • You are not alone in the struggle to understand your study material
  • You’re not stupid, and anyone who says differently is wrong and also probably stupid themselves.
  • You can understand the subject with a bit of patience and a lot of coffee (or tea).

Just Keep On Doing It 

It turns out that the act of getting started is sometimes the hardest part. However, making a plan and starting with something easy can get you going. For example, when studying for your psychology class, try making a list of everything that needs to be done and break it down into manageable steps. 

You can start by taking care of the little things first, such as reading through your notes or looking up some key terms in an online dictionary (like Merriam-Webster). Then maybe you want to read a few chapters from your textbook on personality disorders to see if anything sparks inspiration for today’s blog post. 

As you start doing each task one at a time, you will see that it gets easier as you go along. You’ll find yourself getting more creative with how to approach the subject at hand.

Watch for Additional Resources

Now that you know what to expect when studying psychology, it’s time for you to get started. Take advantage of any resources your college or university provides. Listen in class and take notes when your professor speaks. 

If you need help understanding a concept or want clarification on something, don’t be afraid to ask your professor for help, during their office hours or after class has ended. Find study groups on campus and make a point to meet with them in the library at least twice a week.

Ask a librarian if they could recommend some books, specifically written, for psychology students, and then check them out! You may find that they use language that is easier for you to understand but still covers the information needed. 

If none of these methods work or aren’t available to you, consider finding a tutor who can give one-on-one attention where needed so that no question goes unanswered. You can remember taking notes does not mean writing everything down verbatim. You can focus more on key terms from lectures to understand what each topic entails before going into further detail by reading assigned texts.

Attending Classes

Attending classes is an important part of studying psychology. You will receive a great deal of information by attending lectures. Your lecturer may use slides, videos, and demonstrations to illustrate key points that you are unlikely to find in books.

If you can’t attend due to illness or other unavoidable reasons, then let your lecturer know as soon as possible. Lecturers also appreciate it when students attend every lecture. If you have a genuine reason for missing one or more lectures, talk to your lecturer immediately so that they can make arrangements for missed work.

Lectures can be quite long and packed with information, so effective note-taking is essential.

You Can Do It

Acknowledge that psychology is hard. Your first task is to acknowledge that psychology, as a subject, is a hard one. It’s important to note here that this does not mean you should write the subject off because it makes you feel uncomfortable and challenged.

Psychology will be tough, but you can do it. It may be hard to hear, but anything worth learning in life won’t come easy. The things that truly matter in life are oftentimes the things we have to work hardest for. 

You probably didn’t think so when you were going through it all at the time. However, I bet your most memorable experiences and accomplishments are ones where you had to push yourself beyond what was comfortable. 

What about when you were running laps around your school field for half an hour every morning because your netball team wanted a win? Or perhaps when you were trying on clothes in front of strangers at your first-ever formal dance? Maybe when you took on extra shifts at work so that you could afford a holiday with your friends? All these experiences meant something special to you, and the positive results outweighed all those feelings of discomfort or uncertainty.

You will learn a lot about yourself and other people studying psychology. By studying psychology as part of your university program, remember that there’s much more than course content and self-growth is also happening!

Conclusion

I hope this article has helped you get a handle on studying psychology as an academic subject. Just remember these few things. You need to stay focused on your efforts and should not expect perfection. You don’t compare yourself to others. 

 

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