Overall this semester honestly isn’t the toughest I had. There is an obvious dip in hectic-ness compared to my previous one (wrap-up discussion coming up next!), however the stress level seemed to be about the same. Overall for all my classes there is this feeling of ambiguity that is really stopping things from being smooth-sailing.
Ethics in Psychology was my last proper core subject for undergraduate. There is not much psychology in it, more surface discussions on moral philosophy and ethical decision making. Honestly, you could argue anything as long it doesn’t outright contradict the lecturer’s religious values. The in class dynamics was overall awkward, class content was albeit too shallow and easy (minus the parts where you have to refer to the APA Code, which was more tedious than difficult). There is a lack of depth and engagement, so honestly aside from some new terminology and case law I honestly didn’t learn anything new. I will just leave it here before my writing devolves into personal attacks on the instructor.
Well it wasn’t all bad. My group for the group assignment was hands down the best: no conflicts, everyone was responsible and engaged, and everyone knew each other’s working style (and actually could handle rotating lightheartedness and seriousness). Honestly felt unstoppable working with them. Individual case work was meh, but I can’t deny I had fun making my own dilemma up and it felt enjoyable to write at times when I wasn’t referring to the codes of conduct. I felt like the aspiring novelist of my high school self again. I guess one takeaway is that at least we all get to choose how we feel about the class by putting effort into it and managing your emotions.
Health Psychology is one of my favorite classes in terms of content. I was honestly surprised at how much I loved the content, although it does get repetitive at times especially when it comes to the effect of chronic and acute stress on all the illnesses in the world, along with the benefits of CBT. I even managed to change some of my lifestyle just by applying the content I learnt. The class was so engaging that I was inspired to actually contemplate health psychology as a graduate school pursuit. The examinations however was less encouraging, I didn’t do as well as I liked for every graded component. I either started off in the wrong direction, wasn’t psychologically prepared for the presentations, or simply thrown off balance by the precision that was demanded. This lies quite well in my tradition of doing badly for classes I actually liked and enjoyed. That being said, I overall loved the class and I had a really good group on top of that.
Comparative Psychology. How did I manage to kid myself to do this? Non-existent employable soft skill, definitely not going to be a research interest, definitely likes animals less. All the things psychology students take for granted in cognitive classes such as radial arm mazes become a core content here. Both classical and operant conditioning are constantly referenced to the point it gets tedious. I can’t even convince anyone to take the class even if I am going to get paid. Maybe, just maybe, one gets better at conversing about animals after the class.
It had by far my toughest individual assignment, hands down (literature review on animal behavior, cognition, and ethology does not come close to being easy). The groupwork is pretty vague and we often had no idea how to work things out (despite ended up having the highest group scores in the class). For the most part I felt like a freshmen in another academic department. I even put in remarkable effort to study it for finals (I had never studied a textbook this thoroughly before, from front to back, and back to front). Somehow, it ended up being my best subject by far in terms of grading (finals are not out at the time of writing, but the paper was surprisingly doable). Maybe if one puts in enough effort staring at the workload, things might just turn out good. I did strain my spirit trying to get a hang of the subject as a whole, so perhaps that paid off. At the end of the day, I have never felt quite as ‘schooled’ by a subject: my attention span and boredom tolerance has vastly expanded, I have renewed insights on animals’ lives, and if I can do this well, there is nothing I cannot possibly do well for undergraduate. I just need to put in the effort and time. If not, at the very least I am qualified to dominate discussions on animals now.
Lastly, Psychology in The Workplace. Where do I start?… Honestly, this isn’t a psychology subject. It is classified as one, some topics have psychological underpinnings such as theories of learning, but otherwise there is honestly next to no psychology content at all. The book is a human resource management handbook for employee training and development, which has very different approach (shallow, easier to understand) compared to a work or I/O psychology book. There was little to no application, and the content mostly involved lists of things that are happening in the workplace. Its like a career module that involves a 14 week briefing for work and quite a number of citations. I might have learned a thing or two about how learning works in a workplace or ‘learning organization’, and the importance of ‘transfer of learning’, and still would have enrolled in it regardless due to its relevance to work. Overall, it has the least challenging content I have encountered since my tertiary education journey.
I think this sums up my experiences regarding university subjects this term. It has been satisfying for me to reflect on my progress as a undergraduate student and put them into word form, so I may find time and continue this series by going backwards into my first and second year, and possibly even my foundation year.