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Psychology Club: the current stand-in for an AP Psychology class

The importance and benefits of having a club that can discuss psychological health
Tansy Velush
Members of the club conversing and discussing new topics

According to the Washington Post, “Seventy percent of schools have reported an uptick in students asking for mental health services since the pandemic started,” and now students in the school have created a club around talking more about mental health and emotional wellbeing in high school.

As Psychology Club gains new members, co-president Bridget Donnelly expressed her thoughts about having more people come and join. 

“With a big group it’s nice when there’s more people there because you get to hear so many different perspectives, especially from people that I wouldn’t normally see every day,” Donnelly said. 

Donnelly was given the mantle of club co-president as one of her then-senior friends graduated, giving her the opportunity to continue the club on.

“I just think it’s a great place to all come together and just talk really passionately about things that interest all of us,” Donnelly said. “We have these really interesting and engaging and captivating discussions that really I feel like open my mind a little bit.”

Generally, the club is less structured, acting as more of a free-form discussion space where everyone could talk over anything they wanted to bring up. In addition to this, Donnelly said the main objective of the club was to learn more while“fostering an environment where everyone can share their thoughts and minds and learn new things and kind of expand our understanding of the world around us and how we exist within it.”

Despite the club regularly having a smaller group with only around ten people, now new members are rapidly joining with more recent meetings having almost a full classroom of people. Even with more people coming to the meetings, the environment still seemed open to anyone and what they wanted to add.

“We’re really excited for anyone to show up just to hear what their thoughts are and hear how they can add to our conversation,” Donnelly said. 

In addition to running the Psychology Club, the student leaders of the club are also trying to get AP Psychology into the curriculum and are working towards talking with the administration about it and making AP Psychology a class.

To make up for not having a more formal instruction, sometimes students will bring in powerpoints or discuss experiments they’ve seen or heard about that deal with psychology.

“We talk about all the experiments that have been done and what that says about society and people’s natural instinct,” Donnelly said. 

 However, Donnelly said that having a class would help to talk about sociology as well, and how humans operate with one another by learning about the brain chemistry from speakers who might be more experienced.

Having a more flexible  agenda for the club does leave more room for people to share their thoughts and speak about whatever is on their mind. 

“Mainly it’s just kind of a free discussion on whatever anyone’s been thinking about recently or what they want to talk through with different points of view and get deeper into,” Donnelly said. “I just feel like it’s such a good intellectual conversation and I feel like I always come out of it just really excited about learning about different things”

Having a Psychology Club is also helpful for self-discovery; Donnelly noted that giving everyone the option to contribute created a more welcoming space as well as how having different ages and people is interesting because of the diverse perspectives that are being brought up.

“I think everyone wants to know more about themselves and especially when we’re teenagers and why we operate this way and how as you’re preparing to maybe even go to college and just entering being a citizen in the world through high school”, Donnelly said. “Having a greater understanding of that would benefit so many students.”

Psychology Club meets Wednesdays in Robin Dowdy’s room, S103, so until AP Psychology potentially gets a class, swing by for in-depth conversations and a supportive community.

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