You’re Asking Me to Participate in a Discussion with 25 Other Students?!

Ah seminars. Even if you don’t know what a seminar is (much like me in first year), there’s still something about the word when leaving the mouths of upper years that creates an uneasy feeling in you.

As the years go by, you slowly learn more about what a seminar entails and look with envious eyes at people who don’t require that as part of their degree.

But I’m sure they’re also looking at you and hoping they could take a seminar instead of whatever awaits them near the end of the degree that symbolizes the “official test of showing that you learned something in the past four years”.

Hey, the grass is always greener on the other side right?

As the world shut down in March, I knew that I would be taking my seminar online during the fall semester. I had never been strong at discussions in classes and opted for more quantitative and straight-forward courses that proved to be few and far between for someone doing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

However, it was part of the degree requirement so I didn’t dwell much longer on it and registered for one that my friend was also taking (yes, sometimes the best decision is to follow your friends than tackling a foreign course all by yourself but not all the time!).

Image from stimuli used in a psychology experiment that I used for my group presentation! It was really interesting and I was able to use the results to spark discussions.

Now that I’ve finished the semester, I can say how glad I am to be able to participate in a seminar with 25 other students. I was continuously being challenged by the course and my peers and engaged with the material in a way I never thought I’d be capable of.

Although the course material was difficult to understand, having peers who were in the same boat about how confusing certain articles are definitely helped. With the online format, this allowed the option of several breakout rooms during lectures.

I’m sure we all have our fair share of awkward breakout room experiences but by the end of the semester, I felt like I was able to talk freely with everyone in the seminar.

It felt like we created a little family. We all left as *sorta* experts about facial processing (the topic of the seminar).

I was lucky enough to have lots of friendly people in my seminar who were probably just as nervous as me but everyone kind of just gave it their all.

If you’re scared about taking upcoming higher level classes (online or not), I suggest keeping an open mind and really working with your peers!

One of my breakout rooms. I ended up being really comfortable talking to whoever was in my breakout room as the semester progressed.


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