August 14, 2013, by khyx2lyn

The Ongoing Journey

Psychology. Just the word alone sparks many opinions and different perceptions of it. Some may say it is a study of behaviour and some, “isn’t it a study and treatment of crazy people?” or “a study to read minds?”. In fact, there is some truth in all of these stereotypical portrayals, but there is a whole lot more to psychology than what we think or even know.

So, what is Psychology, really? At 14 years old, I had not much of an idea of Psychology when I first thought to study it after graduating from school. I only had the stereotypical impression of it (reading minds, counseling, etc). Of course, over the years until after I finally become a school graduate, I did my own personal research on the whole topic of Psychology from the internet (thank God for technology!) and also from various books (e.g. Psychology for Dummies, etc). Apart from all those research, the one thing that truly convinced me to study Psychology was my yearning (interest) to always know why people react/think/respond/feel the way they do? Similarly to the most common stereotype, I basically do want to be able to read minds.

Thus, with my interest in heart, deciding about which university to apply to, I fixed on doing Psychology in UNMC; the ultimate reason being so that it was the only private university (in 2010) offering Psychology with more focus on scientific studies (which was something I was more interested in, compared to the Psychology arts degree). One thing led to another, and I began my journey with Psychology in the Foundation in Science (Psychology) programme back in April 2011.

Foundation year…was really untypical from the more common pre-U programmes such as A-Levels as I expected. In UNMC, my Psychology foundation experience was…like an interesting ride I would say. Being a fresher, I was keen on all my lectures especially Psychology ones. Mind you, the Psychology lecturers being all non-locals, truly provided an eye-opening experience with Psychology. I remember being inspired with their intense enthusiasm and interests as they lectured. Even though I have yet to get to know the lecturers better, I very well could see their life-work reflected in their teaching and sharing of knowledge. I would say my foundation Psychology experience genuinely provided a very good introduction into the field – full of exploration, discovering insights and fun to learning, no kidding!

As I moved on to Year 1, my expectations (on the learning) and aspirations increased, and boy…was I not disappointed! The year 1 degree programme was much more interesting and challenging as compared to foundation (than I expected). It was a year of learning, picking up and honing necessary skills to handle the course – from conducting my first ever group or solo experiments to writing up multiple reports and essays to a zoo field trip! The lecturers were also getting more humorous, friendly and also stricter at the same time as they delivered their lectures. Which now brings me to say, if you’re not careful and running late, you might be locked out of the classroom or kicked out for those who often talk your ear off! But, don’t get me all wrong now, these are just some of the many stories that passes-down…and I for one, have not experienced or witness it happen without reasoning! So, nothing to worry about, just keep yourself in-check and all will be a joy-ride (with some hurdles…what’s life without them, right?). Anyway, my Year 1 was a journey of finding my footing and way around Psychology and the course. I made mistakes, rushed my reports and essays for submissions, met new people and created many memories to be cherished along the way. It was all part and parcel of my university process as a student and as an individual – chapter or phase in life that many others and I are going through or have yet to. Therefore, as I will soon move on to my Year 2, once again my expectations have grown so are my aspirations too. Truly, I am really looking forward to a happening “senior fresher” year! Bring it on!

All in all, one could say that the foundation year was just an ant bite of what you would experience in Year 1 and in the later years – with more challenges and happenings there comes more fun and learning! And a final note to it, may you be a foundation or a degree or even a high school student, I honestly believe personal interest and the desire to learn are vital in enabling one to truly experience an enjoyable and worthwhile university experience! As Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.”

Photo Credits: Linda Teng

Photo Credits: Linda Teng

Linda Teng May Yee
(Year 1 Student in BSc (Hons) Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience)

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