Juliane Gruss, an 11th grade student in Laurel Springs School’s Gifted & Talented Academy, is focused on a career in psychology, and our Behavioral Sciences curriculum pathway is helping her get there.
Juliane admits that she had misconceptions about the field of psychology, based on what she saw on television and in the movies, and that made her want to learn more about the subject. “It was quite a shock to realize that psychology can be so much more than is shown to the outside world on TV shows and in poorly researched books. As my interest developed, I eventually began to understand that real psychology is so fascinating to me because it allows me to implement my communication skills to problem solve and help people who struggle in a world that fails to support the atypical within us.” Juliane is excited by the breadth of options available to her in such a dynamic area of knowledge.
The Behavioral Sciences curriculum pathway has enabled Juliane to get a jump on preparing for a potential career. “I’ve taken AP Psychology, Criminology, and Personal Psychology to help me along my path. I also plan to take AP Calculus, Sociology, and Peer Counseling in my upcoming senior year.” Juliane said, “I’ve truly enjoyed all the classes I’ve taken. For students who are interested in a similar field and want to pursue a Behavioral Sciences pathway, I would recommend beginning with elective courses in the field, such as Personal Psychology, and eventually building up to courses such as AP Psychology.”
Juliane has found ways to nurture her interest in psychology by connecting her Laurel Springs coursework with activities in her local community. “I have prioritized gaining real-life experience in the field. For example, I started my own mental health campaign at the beginning of this year. I work with psychologists near me in order to challenge the stigma surrounding mental health. Through this campaign, a psychologist and I hold monthly “Ted Talks” and plan to visit schools and hospitals in order to address the topic of mental health.” This type of work keeps Juliane engaged in her community while building on her Behavioral Sciences coursework.
Preparing for College and Beyond
While Juliane “can barely decide on a continent,” let alone one college or university as a dream school, she is considering several universities in Europe, but she’s also fascinated by the liberal arts approach to education in some U.S. schools. After earning the necessary degrees, Juliane envisions a life informed by her understanding of human nature. “My ideal future includes opening a therapy center of my own and potentially focusing on child psychology and development,” Juliane said. “I also want to continue and further my involvement in special needs learning.”
How has the college-prep high school approach at Laurel Springs made a difference? Juliane said, “It forced me to adapt and become a better version of myself. Developing a sense of strong responsibility and independence has pushed me outside of my comfort zone countless times.” When she thought about her life as an online high school student, Juliane said that it “helped me develop that extra drive through which I was able to follow my passions and extend my horizons.”
Students who are considering online high school curriculum options should find out whether a school’s courses reflect their areas of interest. Ready to learn more? Contact your Laurel Springs representative or our admissions team to dive deeper into our curated class offerings.