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Thursday, 31 December 2015

Some things Psychology students want you to know.

I've just finished my first undergraduate degree. I will have a Bachelor of Psychological Sciences under my belt, with many more years of study to go. However, one thing I have learnt while studying, and also working in retail, is that many people have a lot of preconceptions and stereotypes about what it's like to study psychology.

So hear is a list of things that have come up when I talk to others about what I'm studying at uni.

  1. "Can you read my mind?" ... No. I can't. Repeat, I can not read your mind. Just because I know a little bit about how the brain works, and understand some human behaviour, does not mean I can automatically see into your brain, and understand exactly how it works. Even the most highly trained psychologists and psychiatrists can't read minds... So save that one for the sci-fi movies.
  2. "What condition does (insert name here) have?"  Firstly, one of the most important things we are taught when studying psychology, is that, if we have any ideas about what condition(s) someone we know might have, we are not to diagnose them, because it can create stigmas and make them feel worse, and it might be wrong, and that isn't helpful for anyone. Secondly, even though I now have an undergraduate degree, I am nowhere close to being a psychologist, it takes many more years before you can even start practicing and treating people yourself.
  3. "You should treat me for free!" If you knew how much debt I'm going to be in when I finish university, you would not be asking me to treat you for free, that's for sure.
  4. "Students these days are never at university. You're always on holidays!" Yes, university does have a long break over the summer, but the rest of the time we work hard. And yes, I may only have two or three days at uni a week,  but that doesn't mean I don't do anything in the downtime. Most students I know work numerous jobs, and study a lot (weekly readings, lectures, assignments...), and try to balance other life things, so you telling us that we're lazy, just puts even more pressure on.
  5. "Do you have a real job yet?" You have no idea how much I want to have my qualification already and be working in my dream job, but university takes time. To get into the industry you want, you need a qualification and experience, and that takes a lot of time. So yes, I will still be working at this supermarket for a few years longer to keep myself ticking by.
Being a student isn't all it's cracked up to be! So keep that in mind!

What are the stereotypes that people have of your field?

Beth. x 

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