Time to Get Motivated

635837576855041966-1244977572_letters of recommendationIn the past few weeks I’ve been researching psychology graduate programs and seeing what they entail. I honestly wish I would have done this in my first year at McGill, as it would have made my life a lot simpler, but I can’t go back in time unfortunately. It’s now time for me to get serious and start preparing myself for my future.

To apply to graduate school in psychology it requires having at least 3 reference letters. Getting letters of recommendation usually comes from a job or a volunteer position, and in certain cases you can ask a professor if you really excelled in his class or you have gotten to know him personally and he knows you well. Realizing this, I had done nothing extracurricular in my first year at University. This semester I have a part-time job (however, I don’t think their reference will help me much) and I’m also volunteering in a lab. I plan to stay with this lab for as long as possible, so right there I know they will be glad to provide a reference letter. The problem comes with having to get two more reference letters before December.

Luckily, I stumbled upon something called “Alternative Spring Break” where for the five days of Spring Break I will be volunteering at a shelter. To do this, it required filling out an application form and being accepted. There were many different places one could volunteer, ranging from working with autistic children to the homeless. With a limited number of spots, I was lucky to be accepted as I had applied on the last day. I plan to write a post about my experience once I’ve returned from Spring Break.

I found a way to kill two birds with one stone. Another requirement for graduate school is to have written a thesis in your undergraduate year – I plan to take a research course & seminar in my last year, which means I’ll have a psychology professor as a supervisor and be working with them for the entire upcoming year. Not only will I get to write my thesis, but if all goes well I should be able to get a reference letter if my work is up to great standards.

The point of this post is to get across one point – don’t procrastinate! If I would have looked this up a year ago, I wouldn’t be in this position now, trying to cram everything in to make sure I meet all the requirements. If you have any idea of what you wish to do once you graduate, I advise you look into it now that way you can begin making progress towards it.

If you have any questions feel free to comment below, and good luck with midterms!

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