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.
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.