The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Meet the Major: Psychology

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Image of University of Massachusetts student Jaline Israel with text explaining she came to UMass for the environment, energy, and food

Jaline Israel is a senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst studying psychology. She chose to attend UMass Amherst because of the environment here, the people, and of course the #1 dining.

Coming to Umass was a decision I felt so much peace with as soon as I made it. So I knew that it was the right choice, and that coming to this school would open me up to so many amazing opportunities and experiences!", Jaline says.

She started off as an animal science major, because she initially had dreams of being a veterinarian. However, after the first semester Jaline decided that animal science wasn’t for her.

"Psychology was always on the backburner of my mind, because I love spending time with, talking to, and helping people. I am also a very analytical and reflective person, so becoming a psychologist was always something I could see myself going into and loving. After my first semester at UMass I realized that although I loved animals, I did not love them enough to study them for the rest of my life. From then on I switched my major to psychology and never looked back," she explains.

Jaline notes that one of the best things about her major are the faculty that teach classes.

"The psychology professors are first of all extremely knowledgeable! it's amazing how each one of them are truly experts on not only the research they are doing within the field, but also the research around them as well! On top of this, what I love about the psychology department is that many of these professors are dope people in general. They are personable, understanding, and even humorous which makes it so that class time is never dull, and so that each student's learning experience is positive," Jaline notes.

Outside of classes, Jaline works two jobs on campus: one as a barista in the library cafe, and the other as a tour guide for incoming students. She is also the president of the UMass Gospel Choir and loves to hang out with her friends.

Jaline says there are many different career paths for a psychology major, from social work to school psychology to clinical psychology to education to pursuing higher education. After graduation, she wants to volunteer for a year with AmeriCorps, a public service organization dedicated to helping others. After that she plans to apply to grad school and get her doctorate, then eventually opening up her own psychology practice.

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