Why I even decided to study psychology?

It was winter 2011, I was half-term into my first year of business school and I kind of felt I needed to get deeper into more ‘scientific’ topic as well. I was working in political marketing at the time and psychology was my long-time choice of hobby (reading) activity. 

Hoping it’ll help me understand people and human nature better (and better execute on election campaigns… haha) and the thought of studying something that gives you pleasure was kind of exciting.

I applied for the term commending year 2012 and once I arrived to take admission tests, I didn’t realised there were hundreds and hundreds of people. I didn’t know it’s such a competitive field and just said to myself it’ll be fun and that I still have my former business school I wanted to finish no matter the result.

Turns out they were enrolling just a tiny fraction (ca 50 people) that took the test.

Fast forward few weeks and I found myself on the ‘accepted list’.

For the next three years, I was juggling two schools and jobs. I don’t even know where my energy came from back then – but I can tell you – I have far less of it now. 😬

Apart from scientific studies and theories, me and a couple of former fellow students  recently agreed that in day-to-day life, we utilise internal realisations, that happen to be the by-products of our actual studies. Here’s my list:

1.You have no permission to judge or label. Anyone. Ever.

And I don’t mean this from a moral perspective. 

It’s a natural phenomenon that our brain categorises everything we see, who we meet and eventually does some kind of internal judgement. It’s essentially a strategy for our survival as humans.

However, if you spend 3 or five years contemplating and studying how a human being evolves from a pre-natal phase into the actual adult, you get an idea and starting to grasp the whole context.

There’s so much complexity in what is shaping us.  We’re part of a bigger system. You never know what the other person is going through, what goes on in their lives at the moment, what is he dealing with, what trauma can manifest a certain type of behaviour- that you have no right to even assume why is someone that type of character. There’s no good and bad. It’s everything but black and white.

Even from a scientific perspective, it takes a professional, time, right approach and proven methodology and process to give some kind of very first advice. 

No, you won’t be able to ‘read minds’ – it’s rather opposite. 🙂

2. Grasping psychology as a field

Even though I read many books on psychology before my studies, I think I would never be able to navigate the complexity of it. In my 3 years, I was able to dive quite deep into its main branches of basic psychology as well as applied psychology.

Think General psychology, Developmental psychology, Social Psychology, Personality, Organisational psychology and others. 

3. It’s not a pseudoscience

I have to be honest, reading old works of Piaget, Skinner or Jung for the first time felt like a trip down the esoteric spiral. almost non-existent objectivity. It took some time to understand the angle, logic and experiment design. Psychology always gets criticised by modern academia. It’s hardly quantitative compared to other fields. https://futurism.com/28-classic-psychology-experiments-failed-replicate The lack of science and failing to replicate the actual research is definitely something to note. However, the technological advancement enables us to demystify and revisit classical psychological studies and I had a feeling that this trend fully took off right in 2012. There were new research studies published results almost every month (it felt like we were proven wrong or confirmed decades old studies :D).

It definitely isn’t a pseudoscience. Every human being has a psyche and we don’t fully understand – or can fully comprehend it yet.  

Psychology addresses problems that are not well understood on the biological level. 

Exploring this field in a partially not standard way, especially in the past is an inevitable process if we want to understand our consciousness.

4. Top-notch or nothing

I never aspired to be a clinical psychologist. My strategy was to get deeper insight into the field and fully understand core concepts. 

If you’re planning on becoming one, make sure you study at a top-notch university. This field is changing far too quickly so you’re better off being on the cutting edge, where universities drive their own research= have access to technology. 

Also studying this field in Slovak was a bit comical – there’s almost non existent proper literature, almost all of the publications were published in Czech republic. Therefore the terminology was tricky to translate. I feel I spent a lot of time figuring out how to name a certain term in Slovak. That was a huge systematic fail. There’s no reason not to study or teach psychology in English these days. 

What did you study? Would you study the same field if you could make a decision once again? Leave your thoughts in the comment below!