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Want to go to grad school but I don't think I can cut it.. advice?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by cate25, 06.30.12.

  1. cate25

    cate25

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    I'm a second year student... was originally a psych major, then art major and now back to psych. It took me a while but I've realized I absolutely love psychology. I know the jobs available for those only with a BA or BS is very limited in psychology, so I want to go further. I think it would be great to do research or even work in a clinical setting.

    However, I really don't think I can cut it. I study as hard as I can but my grades aren't so great... right now I have about 72% average overall... Working my butt off in a biopsychology course and only have about 73 which I had to retake because I failed miserably the year before.. I had a really rough year where I was diagnosed with depression and put on medication, and by the time I started to feel better there was no time to improve my grades.. I was so depressed I wanted to drop out... But anyway, I don't think I have the time or the intelligence to bring up my marks. I don't think I'm not smart, but high school was so easy for me, and now I find myself struggling to get average grades after studying so hard my head hurts.

    Does anyone have advice? I want to take a few years off once I get my Bachelor's to sort things out and get some work experience.. but I'm afraid I won't have the grades to pursue grad school anyway. I also don't even think bringing my marks up will help.. if there is any field I want to go in so far it is the biological side of psychology, but I have no science background (only took it up to grade 10 in high school), so my knowledge in biology and the other sciences is greatly lacking..
    (Sorry for the long post...:sleep: but any advice would be greatly appreciated)
  2. paramour

    paramour

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    I'm having difficulty understanding which of the following applies:

    (a) You've experienced difficulty with any and all (or most?) of your psych classes, regardless of your depression?

    (b) You're only having difficulty with this one course, perhaps due to a combination of depression and minimal exposure to biology?
  3. cate25

    cate25

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    Sorry if I was unclear. So far I am not having too much difficulty in my psychology classes, except for the ones that are heavy in science, and quite a few of these more science-based psychology courses are required. I did not do so well in a few of my psychology courses, not because I didn't understand them but because I couldn't motivate myself to do the proper studying or work during that semester. I know it is a bad excuse, but I'm afraid my average suffered quite a lot, and that I won't have the time to bring it up to a good enough mark. I think I will be able to do well enough in the upcoming courses, it's just my average has suffered a lot already. I hope this made more sense.

    I just know that graduate school is so much more difficult, and I suppose the thought is extremely intimidating. I'm a very hard worker, but if school is already stressing me out too much now, maybe I am not fit for grad school.
  4. wigflip

    wigflip

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    Based on what you say, doctoral study probably isn't on the table right now. But professional school (licensable masters degree) might be not be out of reach if you stay focused and keep your grades up for the remainder of your undergrad study.
  5. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

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    What is your current GPA?
  6. BlackSkirtTetra

    BlackSkirtTetra

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    I did my undergrad at a prestigious private school and am earning my MSW at a public university, and I have to say that as far as the actual coursework goes, my Masters is ten times easier, to the point where I'm frustrated with how easy it is because at times I feel like it's not preparing me.

    I had an inkling that this would be the case, but I chose a public university on purpose because I wanted the experience of going to a public school, but I have nonetheless been surprised at how easy the coursework is, in general.

    So, depending on where you went to undergrad and where you go to grad school you may or may not find that one is more difficult than the other. Don't assume that graduate work is always more involved or more difficult than undergraduate work...it isn't. In my experience so far, graduate work has only been more focused, not more difficult in any real respect.
  7. wigflip

    wigflip

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    Your very first public school experience, eh? Not as enriching as you might have imagined while at Elitesville College? Do consider that you're actually attending "professional school," not "grad school," and that the problem may be social work and not public school per se.
  8. BlackSkirtTetra

    BlackSkirtTetra

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    Grad school versus professional school is a valid distinction (although it seems to be overlooked a lot in ordinary conversation), but you don't have to be smart-alecky about it.

    I'm finding that professional school is enriching, but not in the ways I anticipated. I expected a lot more academic and intellectual challenges than I've found. Instead, the challenges I've found (and am working through) are more matters of place and fit. It's involved a lot of self-reflection and tough decision-making, but it's not the kind of academic rigor that the OP indicates she is concerned about.
  9. cate25

    cate25

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    I think it's 2.7.
  10. wigflip

    wigflip

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    Perhaps not. Nor do you have to look down your nose on public school education: an odd attitude for someone going into social work. I guess we both have our flaws, eh?
    Last edited: 07.05.12
  11. BlackSkirtTetra

    BlackSkirtTetra

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    But I don't look down my nose at public schools. You're reading way too much into what I said.

    I went to public schools as a child, then a private college. That's why I wanted to try a public school for grad/professional school. Sheesh.

    The point is that depending on where she goes to school now, what the OP expects to find in graduate (or professional) school may not be exactly what she actually finds.
  12. cate25

    cate25

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    I guess it's just the course load... I am taking only 3 online courses over the summer right now, and I still find the amount of memorizing, studying, etc. to be overwhelming. It also seems that all mid-terms, assignments, whatever are always bunched together within the same week, and I find it hard to deal with all of that at once.

    I suppose I expected graduate school to be like that but even more specified and focused and overwhelming. I don't know anyone who has gone to grad school, or even college (I am the first in my family) if I think about it.. so I have no idea what to expect. I just assumed it would be much more difficult.
  13. paramour

    paramour

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    Regardless of whether you find the coursework itself "easier" or "harder," I suspect that if you're finding it difficult to juggle your coursework now that you may continue to find it challenging during a graduate program due to the deadlines. They don't change, and they often coincide with one another across classes. I agree with one of the previous posters that you don't seem well-prepared at this particular point for a doctoral program, and a master's program may be pushing it. You could potentially enter as a graduate student at large. This gives you the opportunity to try out a few graduate courses to see how cumbersome you find the classes, content, deadlines, etc., and how well you may or may not be prepared for them. I know a number of students who have done this prior to applying for grad school to figure out whether it's something they really want to do.
  14. lindsaym

    lindsaym

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    what do you mean by graduate student at large?
  15. cate25

    cate25

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    Thanks for the advice. Do you think if I worked on this I would be able to apply for graduate school eventually? I'm wanting to take a few years off anyway before applying. I just don't think I'll be able to get a very psychology-oriented job without more school, and this is definitely what I want.
  16. mewtoo

    mewtoo

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    Are you at the beginning of your second year?

    If so I would suggest quit worrying about grad school and instead focus that energy on improving your study skills. In high school it was so incredibly easy that when I came to college I realized my study skills were grossly underdeveloped and I didn't do so hot those first few semesters. However the further I've gotten into my undergrad career (I'm a senior now) the easier and easier studying has gotten and the higher and higher my grades have gotten. I've brought my gpa up from a 2.8 to a 3.4 so far. Perhaps you should just really figure out what really works for you in terms of studying. And just f.y.i, I noticed you said that you memorize things, which, IMO, is a big no-no in terms of good study habits.

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