The Psych Student

Darius Long
Adjunct Instructor, Fitness and Wellness

As a first-year teacher, I really did not know what to expect since I would be working more independently. What I do know is that I wanted to be a tool for the students to be successful. Currently, my job is a lab instructor in the fitness center, but next semester I will have my own teaching section.

Beyond giving fitness instruction and explaining the physiological reasoning behind exercise, I see myself as an academic advisor. Surprisingly enough, there are many students who are undecided on their career path or not sure as to why they are on their current path. Sometimes there are students that know exactly what they want, and it’s quite exciting to see it unfold.

There is a student who was frequently in the gym. She usually kept to herself and did not seem too enthused about being in the gym. This was an opportunity to connect with the student. So I asked her the typical questions: How’s the workout going? Can I make some suggestions? My name is Darius, what yours? And what’s your major? She told me psychology. This was a segue into a conversation because a lot of student(s) who choose psychology do not realize it helps to specialize in something that will support the degree. She wanted to specialize in creative writing. Me personally, I like the idea of creative writing, but have never been a fan of fiction novels. When I told her this, she was intrigued as to why I did not like fiction. I told her “I would rather spend my time gaining knowledge than just fantasy.” As a psychology major, it appears she took this as a challenge.

After weeks of non-threatening interrogation, she unofficially diagnosed me as “pessimistic”. We often debated over opinion on hot topics from her class. She respected my opinion because it was genuine. It wasn’t always a debate. Sometimes the debate led to the why and ultimately what make us who we are. She ended up telling me that she didn’t grow up in the best of circumstance and creative writing was her escape. From this experience, I feel she will be a great Psychologist because she is detailed to other’s thoughts and feelings. Being open and receptive is an excellent “why” for educators to support their students’ development as a professional.