I have reached the end of my second year (of four) of university so I thought it might be good to have a quick look back at what the year brought me.
After a number of interviews, and a ridiculous amount of applications and searching, I finally found an excellent placement working in a Forensic Psychology setting. It wasn’t an area that I had considered before, but now I feel it is a door that has opened for me.
Returning from placement I landed in what most people describe as the most difficult term of the entire degree. Five different modules, all of which were assessed 100% by exams (as opposed to an exam/coursework split). Developmental Psychology was the one I was most looking forward to, but due to issues with the lecturer it turned out to be my least liked. Those issues were so bad that myself and the other student rep had to call a meeting with the lecturer and the senior staff, which ended in two hours of him shouting at us all! Cognitive Psychology was actually ok, despite being a module that I can’t quite get excited about. Social Psychology was great, and the lecturer (who is in fact the aforementioned senior staff member) provided excellent handouts which really helped with my complete inability to take good notes! I think I would be interested in taking the advanced social psychology module if there is one, since this module was an excellent foundation but has left me hungry for more. I absolutely loved the Individual Differences module – all about personality and intelligence. I would definitely like to learn more in this area too, and I particularly enjoyed reading about Rogers whose theories I have loved for a long time now. But I was surprised to find that after speed-reading Goldstein’s The Organism I actually prefer his theories to Rogers! Finally I absolutely love love loved biological psychology and thoroughly enjoyed learning about hemispheric specialisation for the exam (I might even write a post about it). I will definitely be looking out for opportunities to learn more in this field.
This year saw me, for the first time, take a break from the Psychology Society and hand over the reigns to other students so that it may grow. And it has done, with my best friend at the helm the society has done fantastically well and gone from strength to strength. However I missed being involved in society activitdp (although I have to admit with this killer term I know I made the right choice), so I have re-joined the psychology society committee as treasures and also founded the university’s first ever Zombie society!
The exams at the end of the year were tough, and as I have said before I have many regrets for the lack of effort I put in earlier in the term. I am particularly disappointed in my Individual Differences exam which I was actually really excited about, cut neither of the two topics I has revised especially well and been extra interested in came up, so I had to fall back on my two backup topics.
I also finally “get” using mind-maps for revision. It may not be the best way of learning little facts like authors and dates of studies, but it ties everything together in a structured way which really helps remembering the rest of the stuff and can make a big difference when it comes to structuring your exam answers.
I also stopped volunteering with MIND this term, once again to allow me to concentrate on my studies. My level 3 NVQ in mental health work was similarly put on hold. I do miss the volunteering and one day I will take it up again (although probably doing something new) but for a while I think I am going to make good use of the extra day a week free.
Looking forward, I have spent the day preparing to resume my NVQ work. Learning from my revision experience I have created a plan of what work to do on what day, and provided I stick to my quite intense schedule I will be finished in about three weeks ish. I have also started planning to get ahead for my next term; I have obtained copies of the lecture slides and I will add them as tasks on my schedule. I will also be returning to the gym tomorrow after almost three weeks off. I am dying to go! These past weeks I have done no exercise at all and my diet has been appalling!
So in many ways nothing has changed – I am still working hard! But at least now I don’t need to feel guilty every time I take a break!