Ambling and Rambling

Spent some time adjusting to my new schedule and totally forgot about blogging. Doing so now because sugar rush is keeping me from sleeping. 

One notes about grades, I will talk about this weird habit of mine: I don’t look at carry-over marks (cumulative scores acquired before the finals) before finals. This strategy paid of well after learning some lessons the hard way. By not looking at my carry-overs, I don’t adjust my performance and redistribute my studying effort across subjects, which made me maximize my potential for them. I had an instance where I got complacent after knowing my carry-overs and ended up messing up the finals. Not a tested scientific statement of course, but complacency definitely stops one from getting as far as they should have.

Now…

Reflection on Last Semester’s Results

Last semester’s results are acceptable although I think there are administrative errors that happened in the process. Already acknowledging that I didn’t do very well for a large part of last semester, I accepted most of my DIs with ease although I believe that I could have gotten a higher grade for Politics and Psychology. I was thrilled with my performance in Abnormal Psychology though (which came out of the blue): I am already less keen on becoming a clinical psychologist, but I seem to have a good (rote memorization) mind for psychopathology and existential humanism, which pretty much drove my essay’s and final’s grades up. On top of all the shitstorms I found myself in last year, I think I am not in a position to ask to do any better.

Current Choices & Thesis

Although I am already technically third year last semester, the real thing actually starts now. I basically just started my thesis journey this semester and managed to secure a reputable supervisor for my study. I basically made up a plausible design to show him that I had a rough idea of what I want to do (with little intention of sticking to it, honestly). The rest of my semester will involve a lot of pondering about what to do next.

As for the subjects, I am picking up Ethics, Health Psychology, Psychology In The Workplace and lastly, Comparative Psychology. Ethics is a core, and now I think of it is likely the last subject that I am doing together with my intake class. The other are electives that I have some interest for. Health Psych is one of those areas that I may want to venture into for graduate school (akin to Human Factors last semester), so I am taking that to try that out, and maybe cross that out of my grad school options if it doesn’t work out. Workplace Psych is basically, as far as I see now, watered down I/O that is more useful for employees and managers alike (I/O seems to be more geared for management consultancy), and is also another of my major interests since I finished reading The Best Place to Work by Friedman.

Lastly, Comparative Psych…well I have no idea why I took it. It is by no means reputed to be an easy HD, it is not going to help me in any form of workplace I imagine, and I have little to no interest in animal research. It is just so that I was a little enthralled by it in the introduction class, and the things I learn seem to be elegant conversational material. I don’t honestly know, but I am already doing some readings for the assignments already.

Another Reflection on Academic Grades

I was less keen on the final grade than before. It remains to be seen if this is a healthy transition, but it liberated me from having to choose ‘easy’ classes from the ones that I am going to like, practically useful, and be proud of being part of. I am starting to feel uneasy at how grades are like our only gratification and feedback from studying a subject, leading into a university culture where grades are prioritized over learning experiences. Maybe this is material for another post. It’s explicitly known that grades does not equate to your quality as a scholar or a student, yet implicitly it is difficult to not mentally draw correlations between them because it is the only available indicator there is. Especially for grades from the last semester, I am appalled at how dissatisfaction with grades can negatively affects one’s mood and self-esteem extensively. Maybe this obsession for grades is just a transient period in our development as psychology scholars and will eventually cease to be salient?

Starting from myself, I will allocate some of my effort to work that is more meaningful. I have already assembled a small group of enthusiastic juniors to do some independent research on niche topics and have been joining a number of programs that involves creation of intellectual capital.

Hopefully they get me further than the abysmal grades I foresee for my third year.

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