I Chose A Major My Heart Loves

I Chose A Major My Heart Loves

My path to Psychology wasn't always easy.
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College can be intimidating, exciting, and frustrating all at once. It is a place where you can find yourself, lose yourself, and find yourself all over again. I am in a completely different place now, then I was as a freshman. As a senior in high school, I thought I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to do with my life. My plan was to become a special education teacher and teach Kindergarten to fifth graders.

In elementary, through high school, I have always engaged myself in extracurricular activities and still do to this day. From seventh to twelfth grade, I participated in a program called Natural Helpers or as my friends and I liked to call it “Natural Healers.” This is a national program, that most schools participate in. The selection process for Natural helpers is pretty simple. An anonymous survey is given out throughout the school, asking students which of their fellow students and staff members they felt the most comfortable talking to about any problems that they may face.

From what I can remember, we would have one meeting, every other month during a designated period of time. When I first started out, I remember being shy, and seeking the other member's help, because I didn't really know what I was doing, or if I was giving the right kind of advice. Although it wasn't evident to me at the time, it was clear to those around me that I had a knack for giving people advice and making them "feel better." I thought I was the one who needed help and was shocked to be picked for such a position.

Still passionate about teaching, and having a love of giving people advice and being a part of the program, I stayed with Natural Helpers until I graduated high school. The older I got, the more people I saw turning to me for advice. Sometimes I was even asked to sit in a private meeting, to discuss a situation that a younger Natural Helper was conflicted with.

During my first one and a half years of college, I changed my major twice. First, I declared my major as Special Education. I wasn't ready to give up my dream of teaching kids, and at the time I thought that if I changed my major, it meant giving up my dream. Then I realized something. I could make a career of giving people advice, do something I love, and get that feeling back that Natural Helpers gave me. Since Old Westbury didn't offer Social Work as a major, but only a minor, I decided to declare my major as Sociology.

My relationship with Sociology lasted about a semester. I spoke with my Intro to Sociology professor, and she told me that she thought Psychology would be a great fit for me. Not because I wasn't doing well with the course work, but because she could tell from our conversations that I still didn't find my place. I dreaded having to change my major again, and I had no idea what it would mean for me, or my future career.

Needless to say, my path to Psychology wasn't an easy one. Having almost entered my senior year of college, I can say for certain that I have found my home within Psychology. I can honestly say those five years of being apart of Natural Helpers has definitely helped me become the person I am today. While learning how to help others, I am also helping myself grow in ways I could've never imagined possible.

It's OK to change your major, and it's OK if it takes you a while to find a home within it. You have to choose a major that makes your heart happy. If you don't love what you do, then why are you doing it?

Cover Image Credit: http://almawaddah.org

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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Calming Music, And 9 Other Study Methods To Prepare College Students For Any Major Exam

When your week gets booked, there are simple ways to help get your mind in the zone.

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Making through the first two months of a new semester without breaking down might be considered an accomplishment for college students. If the homework assignments are not as difficult as you originally believed, there should be nothing to worry about. The one major thing that is still considered a pain among college students is exams. The one- or two-page quizzes or long midterms, upon discovering the exact date and time, will send any student into an emotional frenzy. These techniques will help students to overcome the challenges they will face during these terrifying days.

1. Go for a short walk an hour or two before you have a test

Exercise is a great way to distract the mind from stress and improve your memory. It helps if you are walking to get lunch or you are going to the library or another class with someone. Having a conversation with friends about their major and the exam you have that day is beneficial. Talking not only only keeps you focused, but you might learn something from your friends, and they could possibly have advice for you when it comes to preparing for exams.

2. Take frequent 10-minute breaks

When studying for an important test, it is crucial that you take a break after every 45 minutes to an hour of reading or writing something. Even if you are in a study group, leaving to get food, use the bathroom, or just standing up to stretch is good for your mind and body. Make sure the meals you eat are healthy to increase memory retention. Doing a quick 10-minute workout is another method to strengthen your mind.

3. Put on some calming music or perform other small tasks

While studying alone for a midterm or test, putting on soft music while you are reading will help you to stay calm during your study session. When taking a break, doing other activities like cleaning your dorm room, doing yoga, or meditation are other ways to keep your mind focused. Switching up your methods or moving to a place where you can study without any distractions is a priority to achieving success.

4. Watch a Netflix documentary related to the subject

Although television is a distraction from your studies, it might be useful to search on Netflix for an interesting documentary about the exam topic. This is especially great if you are majoring in business, health science, criminal justice, or history. You will hear about all the information related to your test within a few hours. Unlike a lecture, you can pause and leave to get a snack or go to the bathroom without missing anything. As a bonus, if you have to write an essay, you can mention the documentary and reference some facts and other useful information you learned.

5. Make flashcards

One of the best ways to help retain information fast is creating flashcards. Either buy the cards yourself or use a study app. Fill the cards with key terms, facts, essay topic ideas, famous quotes, math problems, or science formulas as something to review (or practice with friends) while studying for an exam.

6. Try making a mind map

If you are having difficulty organizing and summarizing ideas that you have for a topic you are studying, creating a mind map is a unique strategy. Mind maps can be created on paper or by using a computer. This is a simple way to understand material that will be on an exam. Include visuals, words, and ideas, which may help you to remember information.

7. Create a study schedule

During the weeks that students are having midterms, it is challenging trying to balance school and social life. One solution is to make a schedule dedicated to studying for your exams. Mark down on a calendar (or your phone) the times that you have free to study. Putting at least two hours of work a day to prepare for exams will increase your chances of success.

8. Find a secluded place for studying

Another great way to make sure you are retaining the information you are studying is finding a quiet and comfortable area for reading and writing. By relocating yourself to a location you feel relaxed in, the chances of doing better on exams will increase. Make sure that the place is clear of any distractions like televisions, electronic devices (unless you need to use a computer), and loud noises. Some of the best spots can be your dorm room or a reserved spot in the library.

9. Do practice exams

If you want to get in some extra practice for an exam, trying looking on websites or use apps that have quizzes related to your test. Find questions with multiple choice, true or false, short answer, or math problems. Checking your textbook for examples is another good option. This will prepare you for any possible questions that you might see on your exam.

10. Review exam material before going to sleep

When studying for an important exam, try to get some reading done around one or two hours before going to sleep each night. Reading over material or doing some practice questions before going to bed will help you retain information. This is a method known as sleep-learning, and it is effective for college students. While your body is recovering, the brain is processing information during sleep, which means that everything you learned will be stored in your long-term memory.

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