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Keeping Expectations Open, on Campus and Abroad


By the time he completes his study abroad at Trinity College in Dublin, Julian Perricone ’20 hopes he can say that he learned something every day. “I’m just trying to keep my expectations and my limitations undefined — I want to see what Ireland has to teach me,” says Perricone, who takes a range of courses at Trinity, including psychology, his major. His activities at Hamilton have included serving as vice president of Student Assembly.

Despite his immersion in Ireland, Perricone made time to answer a few questions about his studies.

Why major in psychology?

Psychology is always relevant and will always be relevant. It is rooted deeply and securely in the heart (or perhaps brain) of all behavior and cognition. There is no decision you make or feeling you have that is not without psychological processing. Psychology informs on every action you take, be it in business, law, politics, or art. To that end, psychology is a tool that I can and will use on whatever paths my life takes me. Beyond its immense importance, psychology is also just really cool! Just consider how ailed people can take sugar pills and feel the same effects as a dose of real treatment. That’s insane.

What stands out so far as significant or meaningful about your studies at Hamilton?

I remember when I first got to Hamilton, I scrambled and fretted over picking the right classes. I reached out to upperclassmen and asked about this professor or that professor. I even found myself on websites and raters, trying to identify the  “good” professors. In my time since, I have never repeated this practice. It became apparent to me in that first semester that you really can’t go wrong with professors at Hamilton. At most schools, I think it’s rare to find professors who will talk over a meal or invite the class over to their house. But at Hamilton that’s a majority of the professors.

Is there anything else you'd like to say?

I feel like the best thing I ever did for myself at Hamilton was to try new things. I hadn’t taken any psychology courses back in high school, I was terrified of student government and public speaking, I thought being a residential advisor was lame (after all, my father was one). But at every turn I said, “I’m gonna try this, let’s give it a shot.” So I did, and it almost always worked out, and if it didn’t, well, I learned something about myself. I’m in much of the same mentality out here in Ireland where it’s often easy to say no to new experiences, new people, dodgy streets, or walks in the rain, but you have to be open to trying things.

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