Despite being a relatively new subject for me, psychology hasgrasped my interest in that short amount of time. The diversity andunpredictability of people captivates me, and the questioning of existingassumptions I find is valuable to progressions in society. The relationshipbetween psychology and philosophy provided for a suitable basis that I eagerlylook forward to delving further into.
Reading has always been a hobby of mine, introducing me to psychologicaland philosophical ideas even before I knew their formal term. Kafka’s ‘The Metamorphosis’springs to mind – the basis of my English coursework – subtly combining all mycurrent subjects together, through absurdism and emphasis on inner struggles.The novella gravitated my interest towards Sartre’s ideas on existentialism aswell as Marx’s theories, while displaying the psychological effects of widersociety on feelings of self-worth. Yet to truly enhance understanding, furtherstudy logically seems the best way, and the prospect of such entices me andstrengthens my curiosity.
Although fiction will always be a preference, I also enjoynon-fiction, especially recently. Edward Craig’s ‘Philosophy: A Very ShortIntroduction’ gave a general overview of some key philosophers that I had notcome across before, such as Socrates, Nietzsche, and Epicurus, conveying theextensive material philosophy has to offer before seeping into psychology, andhow much more I can learn. Ancient philosophical influences, I find, areespecially interesting, intertwining with early psychology before its pivotalscientific methods.
Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Blink: The Power of Thinking WithoutThinking’ gave me new insights into cognitive psychology and the powers ofinstinct and ‘thin-slicing’, as Gladwell denoted it. Its inclusion ofstatistical information and research was highly informative and fitting forpsychology generally, increasing my understanding of research and conclusionsdrawn from it. ‘Blink’ incorporated the idea that if you feel something is theright choice, you should embrace it. That is why I am choosing this path. Within sixth form, I have taken part in school events such asthe last few open evenings, and I hope to also be an active member of thecommunity at university. Particularly, debating club this year – which Irepresented at our Fresher’s Fair – has progressed critical skills I hadgained from RS and analytical skills from English, focusing on alternateviewpoints and articulating these in a sophisticated manner.
I feel it hasfurther prepared me for objectively scrutinising and evaluating, with regardsto research or proposed theories. Prior to my work experience at the Asylum Seeker and RefugeeCommunity (ARC) Project, I was introduced to personal stories from refugeesfrom my sixth form’s own Ethics and Philosophy conference, exposing me to thereal life trauma many go through. Being in that setting at ARC was trulyhumbling and enlightening for such a significant topic, showing how individualrefugees and the wider community interacted and lived, especially in comparisonto people from more developed countries.
Through attending a biannual meetingduring my time at ARC, the recent movements to improve mental health support inthe community were made apparent, through a research team’s development of aconversation group and booklet to offer psychological information. It indicatedthe real-life application of psychology to me, and how crucial involvement fromdifferent fields is, and that help is something I wish to be able to provideone day. Most people tell you to do what you enjoy, and that is exactlywhat I am pursuing. I am inquisitive, determined, and prepared for the nextstage, and acknowledge how much more there is I can learn; even more, I wantto. My current subjects have advanced my skills and broadened my perspectives,yet there is further to go – and I am ready.