12/11/2016

WHY DO YOU CHOOSE PSYCHOLOGY?







Hey Zengarmy,


"Why do you choose Psychology?"


I'm rolling my eyes again and again and again and again repeatedly as I'm

typing this first sentence because I've probably been asked this question for
about 627092 billion times since the first day I started my Psychology degree.
Believe me as I say this : As a 2nd year Psychology degree student (currently),
the amount of curiosity I get from all of my non-Psychology peers on the motive
behind my choice of degree is insanely absurd. It does get slightly better as time
goes on (as in getting less questions about why I choose Psychology as my major)
but still, it's annoying when some people (with zero common sense) asked me if I
can READ THEIR MIND or analyse their personality ON THE SPOT. No. Seriously.
If you want to ask somebody to read your mind, go find a witch/sorcerer/psychic.
Yes please. If rolling my eyes burns calories, I'd be hitting that gym all day long!



▲ Just me and my friends casually chilling at the MAPSA
(Malaysian Psychology Students Assembly) 2016 Conference.
(I'm the one smiling awkwardly in checkered shirt, just in case you're wondering.)



FYI, I actually paid RM50 to attend this 2-day conference so you best believe
I be taking all those pictures like crazyyyy! More pictures to be shown later!
Alright. Back to the post. The reason why I wanted to write this blog post is
actually very simple — to answer your questions about a Psychology student's
life, ONCE AND FOR ALL. So yea, this post is going to be a rather informative
one instead of an entertaining one (obviously) so feel free to click off from
this post if you're not interested at the slightest about my journey as a 2nd
year Psychology student so far. No hard feelings. Just click off if you want.



Bu-bye.


Okay. I assume all that's left now are those who're honestly curious about
what does a Psychology student's life look like (or you're just having too
much free time on your hand and you want to read this for fun). Either
way, thank you so much for staying with me! (this sounds very wrong on
a second level but anyways) Without further ado let's get started with...



 Question 1 
Why do you choose Psychology?



To be completely honest with you guys, I didn't start off thinking that I'd choose
Psychology as my major, like SERIOUSLY. But if you have been an OG Zengarmy
since the very beginning of my blogging career (it's not even a career who am I
joking) you'd have already known that I was in a depression during my secondary
school due to the fact that I was in a pure Science stream and I felt like it was
mentally suffocating for me to be in a constant academic competition with my
classmates (as we all know pure Science students can be a little bit overzealous
at times). You can read more about my depression in THIS POST that I've posted
last October and read other consecutive posts by exploring the "SEARCH?" bar
at the top right of my blog. (I realize not many of my blog readers know how
to use that search bar so I'm urging you to explore its function now hahahah!)



The idea of pursuing an education (which will ultimately lead to a career) in
Psychology didn't come across my mind until I was at the lowest point of my
life. I was very lost, I cried a lot, and I felt like life was a repeated cycle of
nothingness. It took me a really long time to finally start to get back on my
feet again (we're talking about 2 to 3 years) and realizing that life is just a
catapult — the lower you're being pulled back, the higher you'll rise later.



I vividly remembered being questioned by my little cousin, who believed that
I was an artistic person at heart after reading my blog and watching my vlogs
(I just realized that rhymes fucking well hahah) on why I've decided to choose
Psychology as my major in university. Being a smart aleck, I simply created a
make-do answer to entertain her question. But the truth is, I didn't really have
a SOLID REASON behind my choice, and I do think that's what happened to most
people's life, THEY DON'T REALLY KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON BUT HAVE TO ALWAYS
PRETEND THAT THEY KNEW EVERYTHING GOING ON WITH THEIR LIVES BECAUSE
THAT'S WHAT EVERYONE IS PRETENDING TO DO. We see all these people posting
about their beautiful dogs beautiful house beautiful dress beautiful partners on
their Instagram Facebook Snapchat Twitter YouTube, but let's all be real here...



Do you really think they know
what's going on with their lives?






I personally don't think there's a single person in this world who's already had
their life planned/sorted out and knows exactly what the future has in store
for them. And if they do, they're probably some witches/sorcerers/psychics
(which I do believe they exist lol). Everybody is equally clueless about their
lives. It's just a matter of who's better at concealing their fear of unknown.



I can go on and on about this topic but let's not go off the tangent now.



So, after my secondary school ended I was partially undecided about the
direction of my future and I FREAKED THE SHIT OUT OF MY PANTS. Again,
I kept assuming that everyone had already have their shit together in life
and I'm the sole loser in life. Thinking back now, I wished somebody would
have told me that it's okay to take a gap year off and explore your personal
interest before going on for tertiary studies, but oh well, being in a typical
Chinese culture (not to be racist but it's true 95% of the time) a student who
took a gap year off after their secondary school is often attached to a lot of
social stigmas & what not (aka low competence). I was super self-conscious
(even though I get straight As for my SPM) that people are going to think little
of me if I said I'm going to take a gap year off, and so I went on for A-levels.



I can honestly say that A-levels was not a pleasant experience for me.
It was an unwise decision made by me due to peer pressure (a lot of my
friends were also going for A-levels) and the fact that I was on an entry
scholarship that will be pulled back if I didn't start my course within the
period of a year. Not knowing what I'll be getting myself into (a nightmare),
I went for it & instantly regretted it within the first semester. But I couldn't
bear to admit to the fact that I was a loser who made a wrong choice in my
life, so, you guessed it, I stayed within the allegedly HARDEST pre-U course
for 1.5 years (my subject combination was pure Science, AGAIN) and got a
semi-decent result for the finals. I was amazed by how resiliently I fought
during that period of time even though I was super depressed. I FOUGHT!



Shortly after the end of my A-levels (aka waking up from my nightmare),
I made the decision to NOT continue venturing into the wide world of pure
Sciences ANYMORE because that's just not my cup of tea. But at the same
time, I'm also having a dilemma of not having a foundation in Art stream,
which basically puts me at a disadvantage if I were to venture into the
world of art (by Art stream I meant I'm excluding the Law/Economics
because they aren't my cup of tea either and I couldn't stand MATHS!)



So, what better path to take than Psychology?



In my mind during that time, Psychology is a decent combination between
pure Science and pure Art (aka not as stressful to me as pure Science and
not as clueless to me as pure Art), which seems like a plausible solution
for my dilemma. After doing some researches and taking several moments
of deep consideration (I've learned my lesson folks), I decided to embark on
my Psychology degree, which leads me to my answer for the next question...



 Question 2 
What is Psychology REALLY about?



Now, before starting my Psychology degree, I've heard numerous myths about
the life of Psychology students (one of them being they'll turn psycho hahah) &
I think the following meme (I made it myself) is the most appropriate summary.






I think most of the students who're interested in pursuing Psychology in their
tertiary studies have the same DEFAULT impression of themselves working as a
counselor — which is DEFINITELY THE WRONG IMPRESSION OF PSYCHOLOGY!



There are actually SOOOOO many other
fields that psychology can be applied to!
(However, do take note that you have to take an extra Medicine degree if you
wish to become a "psychiatrist", this is a very frequently asked question.)



Just to name a few different subjects that (1) I've taken, (2) am currently taking,
& (3) will be taking in the future : Principles of Marketing, Communication Skills,
Law and Society, Biological Psychology, Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology
Developmental Psychology, Research Methods in Psychology, Abnormal Psychology,
Cross-cultural Psychology, Sensation and Perception, Motivation and Emotion,
Behavior Modification, Learning Disabilities, Human Neuropsychology,
Educational Psychology, Community Mental Health, Counselling Psychology,
Organisational Psychology, Personality Psychology, and etc.



*the etc includes other non-Psychology but compulsory subjects*



Obviously there are more branches than these but these are what I'm
about to learn in my current degree. And if you're wondering, the
duration for my current degree is 3 years (including internships),
which will approximately cost RM70k in total. I'm fully aware that
this is a HUGE amount of tuition fees for Psychology, but considering
the amount and diversity of the coverage of the subjects, it's actually
worth the money. And do I think it's an easy course considering that
I came from the Science stream? The answer is actually NO. Not at all.






Just to BRIEFLY describe to you what Psychology students do/learn about :
we basically study theories and A LOT of published articles by psychologists,
practice how to carry out multiple fully professional psychology experiments,
& learn how to analyze the data we've collected using super complex statistics
(I REPEAT, SUPER COMPLEX!). Of course there are a lot more behind these but
these are just the very basic gist of what Psychology students do or learn about.



Having said that, despite the "hectic lifestyle" I'm currently living as a Psychology
student in his sophomore year (freshmen year is essentially a honeymoon year for
almost every undergraduate programme, the rest is the complete opposite haha!),
I must say that I'm actually enjoying myself. I can't believe I actually said this but
yea, I'm actually enjoying myself. I think the most important piece of advice that
I can give you here is that: definitely choose a major that will make you feel like
you've gained something in your life and not just a major that you've chosen just
because your parents want you to or you want to waste your time away and enjoy
your time as a carefree student to avoid any adult responsibilities. I used to be
extremely fretful at the thought of finding a job/career as an adult, but I'm now
slowly transitioning myself into accepting adulthood. I'm at a very happy stage
of my life now. Having a purpose in life is definitely the essence of happiness,



which brings me to the last question...



 Question 3 
Are you happy with your choice?



The way I see it, every course has its challenging part, whether you're currently
studying Performing Arts, Economics, Law, Engineering, or even Medicine, every
single subject has its ups & downs in terms of challenges. A very recent example
of me having my "downs" in my course actually just happened yesterday, when I
was having my research presentation. So, long story short, I have this assignment
that requires me to conduct an experiment with my group and then present our
study results individually in the form of poster (the same goes to my other group
members as well). The way the students are examined is that there will be two
invigilators bombarding you with multiple random questions about your results
and you have to answer them like a pro and convince them that you do actually
know what you're doing.You might be thinking "what's wrong with you Zeng Teck
you can't EVEN talk?!" and GURL let me tell you about what happened next.






What happened next was truly traumatizing for me. If you didn't know yet,
I've always had trouble keeping my anxiety in check whenever I have to
deal with things (in this case, questions) that are OUT OF MY CONTROL,
and I was particularly anxious about this presentation because literally,
THE TITLE OF THE ASSIGNMENT ITSELF IS CALLED "POSTER DEFENSE".



*How I'm feeling inside*





Hell no. HELL TO THE FUCK TO THE NO. If you know me in real life,
you'll know that even though I might be a very vocal person online,
(don't believe me? Read THIS POST I've written about my roommate)
but when you ask me to vocally defend myself in real life... I'm dead.



Andbutso, the inevitable worst case eventually happened to me.
My first invigilator (She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named) approached me
when I greeted her with "hi how are you?". She then returned with a
monotonous "fine" to me. I could literally hear the sound of my throat
drying out of pure anxiety, but I braced myself and continued before
she stopped me with her instruction "explain in three sentences".



Wait what? Three sentences?!



I felt like I was slowly losing control of my body. I wasn't expecting this!
"THREE sentences...?" I decided to re-confirm the instruction with her,
which was clearly a bad idea considering the annoyance & impatience
exerting out from her glances. "Yes. THREE sentences." she added.
I did what she said and lost count of the quota of sentences that I was
allowed, before she finally realized it and stopped me with another
two questions (containing technical terms so I shall not write here)
which left me completely speechless. Yes. Isn't this the WORST thing
that can happen to a student who is presenting? I attempted to answer
her questions but she denied them, unimpressed. I tried to smile at her
awkwardly, fully enduring her "I-can't-believe-this-stupid-student" glances,
until she finally decides to storm off. And there I was, completely defeated.
I think I even cried a little bit without even consciously knowing that I cried.
However, the second invigilator was very kind and allowed me to fully explain
everything I've prepared. Phewww. I guess every cloud has a silver lining huh?






Anyway, this blog post has pretty much covered the summary of my life
as a Psychology student so far (I promise there's a lot more to it haha)!
I really hope this blog post has more or less given you a slightly deeper
insight into the realm of Psychology (at university level, of course).
If you yourself are a freshly graduated secondary school student and
are interested in Psychology, I hope my journey will give you some
inspiration. Remember, don't go with the crowd, go with your heart.
(and of course go with the online researches you've done hahahah!)









        
(CLICK TO FOLLOW ALONG & STAY UPDATED)

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