"The idea of what goes on in your mind was always of interest to me. I think that I have an empathy for people who are going through certain very difficult mental situations, and I want to use that to help people that may not be able to help themselves," he said. "In my sophomore year of high school, I took an introductory psychology class that further sparked that interest."
An AP psychology class during his senior year of high school, "cemented it for me — getting really exposed to the meat and potatoes of what the field was all about," Figlin said.
"Experiencing how certain things that we learned about can affect how we treat the world and how we live made me realize that psychology was definitely something that I wanted to pursue," he said. "My plan after college is to go get a Psy D. (Doctor of Psychology degree) and then use that to enter the field of clinical psychology and go into an inpatient facility to work with the more severe end of the mental health spectrum."
Figlin said he learned about Temple University, and Temple Ambler in particular, from a very reliable source — his mother Nicole Figlin, who had attended classes at the Ambler Campus when she was an undergraduate.
"When I was looking at colleges, I knew I wanted to stay in the area. I went to the Admitted Student Day at the Ambler Campus and I knew it was the right fit — from then on I knew Temple Ambler was where I wanted to be," he said. "I think Temple Ambler is unique as far as the variety of what it has to offer. Ambler is an important part of Temple and as a student you have access to the important resources available at all of the campuses."
As a psychology student, Figlin said, "I feel like the campus and the class sizes are the scale that I wanted, because I wanted there to be more interaction with faculty and my fellow students and I additionally get access to all of the resources that help me as a psych major and as a student in general."
"It truly is the best of both worlds in a lot of ways. I think it allows for greater connections with my professors," he said. "In the classroom, we're talking about the connotations of what we are learning rather than just what it means in a textbook sense; that resonates with me. Some of the best experiences that I've had in classes at Temple Ambler so far have been sitting around a table with the other students and a professor just talking about what we're learning — that's a really beneficial environment for me and the way I learn."
Figlin said one of the best things about his Temple experience so far "is just how accessible and helpful everyone is at Temple Ambler."
"Last semester, I must have met with my advisor four or five times, particularly around the time when the deadline for picking classes came up," he said. "They were always available to help me figure it out. I regularly meet with my professors. It's a very smooth process where everyone is trying to help you rather than anyone saying you're on your own, figure it out."
For the fall semester, Figlin said, he is looking forward to digging into the heart of his major.
"One of the psychology classes I'm taking this semester is an introductory clinical psychology class," he said. "Since that's what I want to do as a career, I'm excited to really get in there and get some experience. It gives you a good opportunity to really determine if this what I want or if there is something else that I want to go toward."
Making the transition from high school to college can be overwhelming at first, Figlin said, "but I think the important thing to remember is that everyone wants you to do well."
"They are here to help you succeed. If anything seems too difficult, in the sense of you not grasping what you're meant to be doing or how to organize your time, there are always people and resources at Temple that are willing to help you figure it all out," he said. "Even in my first semester, one of the classes I had was run by my advisor — it was a freshman seminar class. In that class, they were helping us to figure out time management and developing good study skills. My one piece of advice would be if you have questions or you are struggling, don't feel like you need to handle it by yourself."