November 30, 2017
San Clemente High School is known throughout the county for its sense of community on campus, and with over sixty clubs for students to participate in, there is no shortage of options for Tritons looking to join a club. However, academic clubs such as the Psychology Club are often overlooked during Club Rush, when most students are in a frenzy to join more service-oriented groups like Visits of Love or clubs that cater to their hobbies, like the San Clemente Bikers Club. But members of the SCHS Psych Club will tell you that this club is not to be ignored.
“We’re an academic club, so we strive to prepare and talk about the AP component of the class,” explains club president Jake Rybzyck. While this may not seem like a particularly exciting way to pass a lunch period, part of the club’s main focus is to connect real-world situations to psychological principles, which puts complex concepts into examples that anyone would be able to understand. Remember the sightings of creepy clowns lurking in the woods back in 2016? It’s strange, seemingly unexplainable, and sometimes unsettling events like these that become the topics of many Psych Club meetings.
Each of the officers of the Psych Club are students in Psychology or AP Psychology classes on campus. Jake is a senior in Mrs. Toler’s fourth-period AP Psychology class, and was inspired to become involved in the club at the beginning of the year after discovering his own interest in the topics taught in the class.
When asked what he’s looking forward to in terms of Psych Club activities, Jake says, “I’m most excited about our community of aspiring psychologists on campus! We also just had a great T-shirt design competition, and now we are moving forward with creating our own T-shirt.” The winning design featured a brain inside a light bulb, surrounded by many colorful shapes. The t-shirt highlights the club’s focus on learning and insight, as well as its emphasis on creative and innovative thinking.
Mrs. Toler, the club adviser, has been involved with the club since its creation two years ago. She encourages students both in and out of her Psychology classes to join, emphasizing its excitement factor because it “allows students to explore their own interests that can’t be covered in class due to time constraints.” Basically, the club provides a positive and enriching environment where students can further pursue a an academic subject they enjoy.
Mrs. Toler believes that “psychology is everywhere,” so she loves that the club is based on the applications of psychology topics that can be found in phenomena we observe in our daily lives or hear about on the news. Her vision for the club is that it will become a group run by its members — that students in the club will ask questions about topics that interest them in class, and these subjects will become the discussion points of the Psych Club’s meetings. For those with a more curious side, this aspect of the Psych Club is intriguing. Senior Heidi Torres is in AP Psychology, and confirms that “there are always so many things that we talk about in class, that the conversation can go all over the place. Sometimes we run out of time to cover everything that we have questions about.”
The club meets every third Thursday in room P3 at lunch, and are psyched to have new members join. So, if you’re interested in expanding your knowledge about psychology, learning to apply these concepts to real and current world events, and connecting with others who truly enjoy discussions about the science of behavior and mind, the Psych Club may be for you!