Varsity Tutors Scholarship Winner

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Jillian Whitener
Conover, NC
September 2017

The Puzzle Piece that is My Brain - Varsity Tutors Scholarship Essay

Most people their freshman and sophomore year go for the unchallenging classes for their electives, the classes they can get easy As in and the ones where the teacher is not super strict. I, unlike most of my peers, decided to take AP Psychology.
Before going into the class I had a vague understanding and interest in psychology, much like every freshmen who ever goes to college. When I walked into the class on the first day I was one of three sophomores in a class with all juniors and seniors. When I sat down everyone looked at me like “what the heck is she doing in here”? All of these upperclassmen, and even the other two sophomores, had taken Honors Psychology the year before and here I was walking in blind. Despite the overwhelming majority of juniors and seniors, I decided to stick it out and I’m glad I did. I fell in love with the subject and have decided to make it my major.
Taking AP Psychology also influenced my Senior Project. My school requires that all seniors do a year long project that includes an essay, a powerpoint presentation and a project that somehow changes our community. Before taking psychology I had a vague vision of doing something on agriculture, GMOs and corporations vs local farming. After the class however I realized I had found my true calling and I completely changed directions. My current project is on birth order and how it affects personality and academics. Through this project I have been able to connect with professors at well renowned universities, book authors and even local psychologists in my community.
It has also confirmed my decision to enter the field of psychology. I know that if I am still interested in the field after spending a year researching the topic, than I defiantly love it enough to continue my education and major in that subject. My goal is to major in psychology and eventually go on to get my PhD.
My entire outlook on life, and the plan I had laid in place, was upturned when I took that AP Psychology class. Had I not decided to take that course as my elective, and had I taken a boring but easy elective such as woodworking, my major and my career would have likely been to become a doctor or some other such respectable career. Instead I have decided to change my path in life, take on a new challenge and learn more about the interworking of the human mind.