Abnormal Psychology and Pre-Calculus DONE and Out of the Way!

After being up for about 60 hours I can officially say I have successfully passed the Summer Intensive courses that I signed up for: Abnormal Psychology (from 10:10 AM until 12:10 PM) and Pre-Calculus (from 6 PM until 8:40 PM). That’s seven credits in four and a half weeks… somatic, stress, psychotic disorders… sixty multiple choice questions and two essay questions every Thursday and then functions, vectors, simplifying, graphing a few hours later. The extra time and designated testing site at the Disabilty Services Center definitely helped. Assignments, projects, you name it, I got it done with the limited time constraints. In the middle of all this my son was in the hospital for 6 days with Coxsackie Virus.

It’s all done and in the past now – I can pass out now.

Pre-Calculus is a required course that I had to take for my Business Management major. Surprisingly, I was pretty good at since I had previously used calculus in my management career (Yes, Microsoft Excel does a bit of calculus). I went into the course with panic and anxiety as I had always struggled in math class in high school and the last math class I took was eight years ago. The first week’s test I left in the middle of it because I had a panic attack. My professor was understanding and allowed me retake the test with new set of problems.

Abnormal Psychology, another (required) Upper Division course, I took by choice. I had applied for a dual-degree in Business Management and Industrial Psychology this past Spring semester but due to limited seats available and because it’s similar my current major I didn’t get in. I’ve always had a vast interest in psychology (I’ve read all of Malcolm Gladwell’s books – from The Tipping Point to Blink – isn’t that something?) and I’ve found that I’ve used psychology more in my management career than any other type of skill (Yes, Microsoft Excel I’ve used a bit).

For example, I’ve hired hard-working and I’ve motivated employees based on their first interview with me. I would look more for non-verbal cues than verbal cues, as close to 60% of communication is determined by body language. I’d take those same cues and apply them to my coaching and customer interactions, among many other things.

A few weeks before taking these courses I had sat down with one of the counselors at the Academic Student Achievement Program (ASAP) that I’m a part of. He advised me that instead of pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management, followed by a Master’s degree in Psychology, and finally a Ph. D. in Psychology I would be better off pursuing a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling as it would enable me to start practicing as a licensed clinician or start my practice right after. I’m debating whether I should do that or become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

However, I go through these bouts of discouragement from myself and family members when I talk about it as it is a complete change of career, I don’t know if I can keep up with the demanding and quality of work required by the degrees with my health condition. To those that I have spoken to about my decision in pursuing this goal they’ve been extremely critical and given me several opinions (one that hit me hardest was when one of them said I’m unhappy with my life and that’s why I’m making this decision). I’d like to stay positive and keep my hope up, just take it one day at a time, I’ve got a little over a year left at Farmingdale State College and I’d like to make the most of it.

After completing this Summer session I am feeling very confident in myself.