University of Minnesota

Psychology Student Profile

Name: Wen Ren
Graduation Year:
Hometown: Nanjing, China

Major: Psychology BS

How and why did you choose your major?

Psychology is what I'm really passionate about since my high school. It did take me some time to decide whether I would be taking B.A. or B.S. degree. And I finally decided to make a B.S. degree considering my interests in research. Statistics is more like a tool for me to help with my research in Psychology, and to give me a better understandings of those papers.

Please give a description (in your words) of your major including the things you learn, favorite classes, and any challenges you have faced.

Psychology is actually a science that explains some of the things happened around or the principles behind the scene. Don't expect to read others' mind when you choose Psychology. However, it does improve your ability to understand others, to work efficiently and to manage yourself. I use Statistics as a tool to facilitate my study in Psychology. Whenever you choose to step into Academia or, take a step back, do some research, Statistics will be a great help to you. I really like Psy 5993 which is the Research Laboratory. It offers me the opportunity to have a touch with the real research. I learn a lot from the lab meetings, from talking to professors, and from the lab work I'm doing. A similar class in Statistics is Stat 4893W, Consultation and Communication for Statisticians. Cooperating with another class, we did a complete consulting project and finished the statistical analysis. These two classes help me the most in understanding what I'm studying. Talking about the challenges, I feel like the language is the hugest barrier for me to study Psychology, especially in writing papers. It also takes me some extra time to understand some of the theories or definitions. However, it doesn't affect the learning of Statistics a lot. That's more about computation and logics.

What types of experiences outside of the classroom have you had relating to your major? (i.e. clubs, jobs, internships, volunteering, study abroad etc.)

I took part in Psychology International Student Association during my Junior year and worked as a treasurer. The experience over there made me a lot of friends who have similar passions and goals with me. We worked together really hard to provide the best events we could offer and to discuss some new findings in Psychology or even help with the classes.

In your opinion, what is one thing, or one piece of advice that other students pursuing your major should know?

Don't get frightened by Psy 1001. You don't need to know that wild variety of knowledge to be a great Psych major student but you should take the opportunity to explore your real interests in Psychology.

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