Monday, June 11, 2012

Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson

Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson

Using the skills you've learned so far in Introduction to Psychology, please write a brief self-assessment describing how things are going in your freshman year.
Presenting Concerns:
The Patient, Leigh Nolan (that would be me), has just started her first year at Stiles College. She has decided to major in psychology (even though her parents would rather she study Tarot cards, not Rorschach blots).
Patient has always been very good at helping her friends with their problems, but when it comes to solving her own...not so much.
Patient has a tendency to overanalyze things, particularly when the opposite sex is involved. Like why doesn't Andrew, her boyfriend of over a year, ever invite her to spend the night? Or why can't she commit to taking the next step in their relationship? And why does his roommate Nathan dislike her so much? More importantly, why did Nathan have a starring role in a much-more-than-friendly dream?
Aggravating factors include hyper-competitive fellow psych majors, a professor who’s badly in need of her own psychoanalysis, and mentoring a middle-school-aged girl who thinks Patient is, in a word, naive.
Psych Major Syndrome

I’m always complaining about the fact that there needs to be more college-age books AKA “New Adult” as our current selection is sadly lacking, and then I remembered I owned this one and should probably stop whining until I’ve actually read all the of few that are available now. So now that I have, we TOTALLY need more new adult, people! Because going by how I felt about this book, this (sub?)genre rocks.
Psych Major Syndrome is probably embarrassingly and eerily, one of the most relatable books I have read.
Our main character Leigh is hilarious. And I’m not throwing that out there in an obviously bad attempt to imply that *I’m* hilarious or anything like that (though I can tell a good joke), but she is. She actually has... wait for it... a personality.
It was almost baffling at how much of her narration has gone on almost word-for-word in my very own head.
The fact that she overanalyzes everything, is slightly neurotic and a complete procrastinate to the point of basically sabotaging herself, is something I can sympathize with. As a college student myself and a sociology minor at that, a lot of these characteristics hit close to home for me, and it was nice to see I’m not the only one wondering if the fact that I’m kind of a weirdo will conflict with my choice of study. I mean, talk about irony. And yeah, Leigh is fictional, but I obviously can’t be the only one exclaiming OMG HOW SCARY THAT IS SO ME throughout the book... Right? We are not alone!
And to top it off, the supporting characters were also great. From the best friend/roommate that we all wish we had instead of the IRL version of The Roommate we ended up with freshman year (or was that just me...?), to the hilarious, naive, yet insightful girl she mentors and the academically competitive, bordering psychotic classmate, there was much variety in this cast of characters.
The only thing I had a problem with was Leigh’s inability to see what a complete jerkface dirtbag her boyfriend was. It was slightly annoying. I mean, I know she was in denial which only blinded her even more from his psycho-ness, but at some points I was just literally yelling at her to dump the guy already. Since she’s such a great people-reader, her hesitance to admit to herself how awful he was was something I had difficulty grasping, especially when it came to those that mattered most (dirtbag bf Andrew, Daniel); she completely failed.
Thankfully though, the new boy Daniel, makes up for the a-hole. And when the lightbulb goes on in that brain of hers and she comes to the realization that her high school sweetheart is in fact a douchebag, it gives us major satisfaction and you can’t help but feel proud of her growth.

All in all, Psych Major Syndrome is a charming laugh-out-loud debut, in what I hope to be a fresh up-and-coming genre!

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