When people ask me what I’m going to study in university and I reply with ‘psychology’, the response I usually get is ‘Oh that’s cool, but why?’. When I picked psychology as one of my A level subjects at the beginning of year 12, I had no idea how captivated I would be by it and how much I would grow to love it. Psychology was definitely my favourite subject in my last 2 years of school.
For my A level course, we studied both environmental psychology and abnormal psychology. Although environmental was easier for me to understand, I always enjoyed abnormal much more and decided that this is what I wanted to study when I went to university. The study of the brain and mental illness is an incredible thing. Why do some people get metal illnesses and others don’t? Why are some people more susceptible to mental illness than others? Why does it seem that mental illness is becoming more prevalent as the years go by? These are some of the questions that I want to have answered.
What I am most scared of as I go into my years of studying psychology is the maths. I have always been notoriously bad at maths and I’ve always found it so hard to understand. With psych, there is a lot to do with statistics. I’m very grateful that I am doing a foundation course in social sciences before beginning my degree because that means I can get a little bit stronger at statistics or even just maths in general, as well as get used to being back in school after a year and a half off.
While I was studying A level psychology I decided to do some work experience in the field. I worked at a rehabilitation clinic as well as a mental clinic (both in Nairobi) to see whether or not I would actually like to work in the psychological field full time. The answer is, I don’t know. Although I really enjoyed my work experience and would love to work in a field where my sole purpose is to help people, I don’t know if this is what I would want to do for the rest of my life.
One really great thing about having an undergraduate degree in psychology is that it can open you up to so many different jobs. Most people thing that once you study psych, you’re stuck and you can either be a psychologist or a psychiatrist and that’s about it. This could not be further from the truth. A holder of a psychology degree is open to jobs in management, advertising and Public relations because they know how to communicate with people in a way that others may not and they have an understanding of how people think which would help when trying to sell things to consumers and companies.
If I decide to pursue a career in clinical/counselling psychology or psychiatry, I will have to do a master’s degree in that field. And if I decide that I would rather go the ‘PR, management’ route, I will do a masters in that instead. As of right now I do not know what I want to do or what I want to be when I’m older, I figure I’ll just cross that bridge when I get to it!
Although I am absolutely terrified to start this course because I have never been the strongest person academically, psychology is something that I am very passionate about and very interested in and I am hoping that that’s what is going to make it all worth it. Might as well do things that you’re scared of because you never know what doors it could open and what opportunities it could lead to.
Sending you lots of good vibes,