Choosing Major & School

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Studying Psychology in USA - Siobhan Haughey's story

I came to Michigan because I wanted to be the best in everything I do, and over the four years here, I've been working really hard in the pool and in school. " said Haughey.

Psychology helps us better understand ourselves and others

Psychology majors learn about different aspects of the human mind and behavior, from the genetic and environmental influences that contribute to the development of the societal forces that influence individual behavior.

It Is Interesting to understand ways that people think, feel, act and react, and to better understand who we are - individuals, as societies, and as a species. As a psychology student, you can help others too!

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Study & Training

Haughey takes a special pride in helping resurrect the University of Michigan women's swimming and diving program. She also found a calling in the Pychology department, joining the Project Healthy Michigan Mentorship Program and discovering a desire to pursue full-time work with children after competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, for which she's already qualified.

She was a two-time CSCAA Scholar All-American, three-time Academic All-Big Ten and a four-time Michigan Athletic Academic Achievement award winner, as well as a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar in 2018.

Haughey credits her Psychology professors. Psychology at UMich

"The professors in the psychology department are very engaging," said Haughey. "They really love what they're teaching and give us really interesting topics and research papers to read. They are so willing to help you and teach you everything they know. They want you to succeed and that definitely helped me succeed. And especially as a student-athlete, you're traveling and they are accommodating. That helps balance school and swimming.

"I took three classes from the same professor, her name is Dr. (Katie) Jodl, and she's a great lecturer as well. She's a developmental psych professor, and so I really fit into her classroom. I was fascinated with the research findings she presented."

Experiencing while studying - Mentoring in Project Healthy program

"All the mentors get to choose which school they want to go to, and I chose high school because they're at an age where they go through a lot. I mentored downtown at (Ann Arbor's) Community High School three day a week, and would talk to kids in the freshman class to see if they needed help with homework or a person to listen to them. It's nice to have college students, who are closer to them in age than most teachers, talk to them.

A career that make people life happier

"It was a very eye-opening experience for me. One student wasn't coming to classes and I asked about him and found out he was actually homeless with a lot of stress from the family, and also had a little sister he has to take care of. To provide some light and happiness to these students definitely made my day. That's what really made me realize I wanted to work with kids."

Swimming at Ann Arbor

"I came in when Michigan was at the final stage of rebuilding," said Haughey. "The new coaching staff had really started to change the program. Their goal was to make the program one of the best in the nation…”

"We had a really great recruiting class in my year, and they are amazing swimmers. And after our freshman year, we recruited great swimmers and divers, too. That's how we continued to get better."

Michigan won the first of three consecutive Big Ten championships in her freshman season, 2016, and Haughey won three individual championships while being named Big Ten Swimmer of the Championships at the event held at Canham.

Proudest swimming accomplishment

Haughey said her proudest swimming accomplishment is finishing fifth in the 200 freestyle at the 2017 World Championships.

"I was only 19 at that time," she said, "and I'd never thought of doing something like that. It's kind of cool being fifth in the world."  Haughey was the first swimmer from Hong Kong to make the Olympic semifinals in an event in 64 years in 2016, and the South China Morning Post said her time of 1:56.91 in the preliminaries was a Hong Kong record.

Motivation and Dedication make the difference

She's motivated to accomplish even more in the 2020 Games.

"I hope to make the finals in 2020 and swim as fast as I can," said Haughey. "Everyone in the world is also improving, and I hope that in the coming years I can have really good training and achieve the goals I've set for myself."

Dedicating herself to the work necessary to make a difference while also making a name for herself made Haughey someone special at Michigan. It's the formula for success she now takes forward in her continued endeavors in the pool and school.

Flashback on Haughey’s freshman year

Michigan is worlds away from Hong Kong. Winters in Ann Arbor, west of Detroit where the campus is located, have such notorious temperatures the university has an article on its undergraduate admissions website titled: “Frozen hair and what to wear: A survival guide to winter at Michigan.”

Haughey said her maiden snowfall was awesome.

Freshmen live in the dorm and I still remember one Saturday morning it started snowing for the first time and all of the freshmen who don’t live in Michigan were excited and saying, ‘It’s snowing!’ So the first week it was really fun. And I have seen snow before but I hadn’t seen that much snow.”

The winter wonderland novelty soon wore off.

After a while I was kind of fed up with it, you know, ‘This is so cold I need to go back to Hong Kong’. Definitely all of my winter clothes now, everything is bought in Michigan because all the Hong Kong clothes cannot stand this weather.”

A comfortable upbringing helped Haughey accomplishing her goals

Haughey said her comfortable upbringing also shaped her as a swimmer and helped her stay calm under pressure. A recent article in Swimming World Magazine detailed an 80-hour journey that saw Haughey hop on an early morning flight from Detroit to Hong Kong on April 12. She got home after 15 hours in the sky, had dinner with her family, went to bed, then got up to smash a Hong Kong record and qualify for the world championships and the Olympics in the process.

Then she got on a plane the next morning and headed back to Michigan, where she went straight to the school’s athletic banquet to receive the Big Ten Medal of Honour. During this whole time frame she was also studying and writing papers for classes.

Haughey said her resolve and solid upbringing has given her the ability to zone in and accomplish goals with a heightened sense of discipline.

Note 1Goal to become a clinical child psychologist

Haughey graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology this year with the intention of taking her master’s  and becoming a clinical child psychologist. She is based in Michigan and working at a part-time job in her field when not training or competing.

Haughey said a developmental psychology class helped her narrow down her idea of a career after swimming.

I’d say I’ve had a very happy childhood and I’d say through my classes and reading about what’s happening in the world I’ve realised a lot of kids don’t get to experience the world that I did or have the childhood that I had. In becoming a child psychologist, hopefully I can help these kids in any way possible.”

This would be helpful back home, where recent studies have noted one in three young Hongkongers suffer from stress, anxiety or depression, according to a Hong Kong Playground Association survey. The city is also notorious for its relentless lack of work life balance which parents invariably pass on to their children.

I know a lot of kids in Hong Kong are very stressed, whether it’s from school, or other kids or their peers. And hopefully becoming a child psychologist dealing with their stress will help benefit them in the future.”

Source:  SCMP

https://www.scmp.com/sport/hong-kong/article/3018619/i-would-cry-every-time-i-went-siobhan-haughey-hong-kongs-great

Note 2: Psychology as your college major

The number of students majoring in psychology has grown tremendously in recent decades. On college campuses throughout the world, psychology frequently ranks in the top five most popular majors and on many campuses it is the single most popular major.

So why exactly is psychology so popular?

Psychology Is Fascinating

Is there anything more interesting than the amazing and sometimes bewildering ways that people think, feel, and act? At the heart of so many disciplines lies the desire to better understand who we are—as individuals, as societies, and as a species. Psychology delves right into the very depths of this yearning for knowledge and seeks answers to some of the major questions that we all share. Who are we? How did we get this way? Is it possible to change? Psychology can offer us insight and answers.

Psychology Helps Us Better Understand Ourselves

Young adulthood is often a time in which people explore different facets of themselves and try to establish who they are as individuals. For this reason alone it is not surprising that psychology holds so much interest for college students. College can be a time of considerable transition and change as young people leave the nest, so to speak, and make their way into the world on their own.

College-age people are often still working on forging a personal identity and figuring out who they really are. Many also grapple with the emotional turmoil brought on by love and romantic relationships. With so many highs and lows going on during this busy time of a person’s life, studying the human mind and behavior can help offer personal insights and a deeper, richer understanding of the self.

No wonder so many college students decide to major in psychology.

Psychology Helps Us Better Understand Others

If you have ever found yourself completely baffled by the behavior of another people (and, really, who hasn’t?), then you probably understand the desire to better understand how people think and act the way they do. Psychology majors learn about so many different aspects of the human mind and behavior, from the genetic and environmental influences that contribute to the development of the societal forces that influence individual behavior. All of this contributes to a much better understanding of other people. After studying psychology, students often find that they can better predict and explain how other people will react. Studying psychology can also help students gain greater interpersonal and communication skills.

There Are Lots of Career Options

While psychology majors are often called out on lists of lowest paid professions, the reality is that there is an enormous variety of the career options that are available. Those who earn a bachelor’s degree often do find fewer job opportunities and lower pay, but an undergraduate degree can also serve as a stepping stone toward graduate study in psychology, counseling, law, business, or medicine. There are tons of career paths that psychology majors can choose from, and it is this variety appeals to many students.

You Can Help Others

It can also be a direct path toward making a difference in other people's lives. If you have ever wanted to help people who are suffering, majoring in psychology can lead you to a career in a helping profession. For example, you might opt to pursue a master's in counseling after earning your undergraduate degree in psychology in order to become a counselor working with kids who need academic, social, and emotional assistance. Or you might opt to become a social worker and help people who are facing a variety of psychological difficulties. You might also opt to become a health psychologist and work on public policy issues that directly impact people's health and well-being.

Final Thoughts

Obviously, there are plenty of great reasons to study psychology. Is majoring in psychology the right choice for you? There are also good options when choosing a MINOR to study when you are majoring in psychology.  

 

 

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