9 November 2020
Six years studying for my GCSEs and another two years getting my A levels, all for this very moment. Here's how my first month of being an undergraduate Clinical Psychology student went.
With the current COVID-19 pandemic I wasn’t sure what my week would look like as a student this year compared to previous years, but I was happily surprised with how much flexibility I have over my education. Every week I have a four-hour slot on campus where I have my lectures and then a group session with my personal development tutor who helps me with academic and pastoral support.
Outside of this I have informal assignments, online lectures to watch and reading set across all three modules that I am studying currently (Psychology of Everyday Life, Self and Society, and Becoming a Researcher). These assignments do not need to be handed in but help with understanding of the material. I do also have formal assignments for these modules which calculated together give me my final grade in that module; however, it’s up to me how I organise all this work as long as the work is submitted on time.
I have really been enjoying some of the topics that I have been studying, for example motivation and procrastination, the history of social psychology, developmental psychology, individual differences and the biopsychology of love. Did you know that when you have contact with someone you love a hormone in your body called oxytocin is released? It’s the hormone that figuratively creates a bond between two people. Simple but elegant.
In the past month I’ve also come to realise that’s its not just important to understand how to diagnose a condition but also to understand the history of it, as it is through the progress of our actions that we can deliver the best possible care for everyone. For example, depression wasn’t always treated as a mental health condition but more so a frame of mind that you can easily switch out of. Patients were told to try to act normal and then soon they would fall out of a particular mindset. This fortunately is not the approach we use today.
Despite the ongoing presence of COVID, here at ARU we have been able to adapt in a way that means we can carry on our research and educate ourselves on how best to deal with people who are fighting on the inside, how best to communicate with those who struggle to communicate with themselves, and how best to deliver a treatment plan for those who need it. We are providing research for our future and I’m honoured to be part of the movement.