I started my journey, almost four years ago, when I moved to Bosnia & Herzegovina to dive into the psychology world that I was striving for learning and understanding. I brought my psychology books with me. At the time, I was watching some series related to psychology, and I was feeling very much involved in the psychology field just by reading books, watching series, and being able to start my bachelor’s in psychology. In my junior year, I met our university’s student psychology club. That is where I started to widen my perception of psychology, and I learned many resources, other international associations, inspiring people, and many more that helped me create my network and expand my knowledge, which I am continuing. If you wonder, I still would like to turn back to the time that I just started my degree with my knowledge from today. And today, I will be sharing with you what I would like to advise myself that just started her bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Studying and Research
I will start with the research and reading part of your bachelor’s journey. This part is very important for your knowledge. Psychology is a new science that is dramatically growing, and you could be the one that adds to it. But, to do so, you should know what has been done and how. In your curriculum, please understand the statistics very well and study for it. It will help you give meaning to the article analytics, so you can understand. When you ask professors or to google to search for articles, you may come across issues such as you need to pay €40 for research, which is insane for a student to afford, but do not worry, all you need is to find the link or DOI number to the article, and then you will go to the website sci-hub.tw. As I heard this website is banned in the US, but you can still reach it by using TOR Browser.
Organizations and Student Clubs
The other things I would like to share are; join organizations and student clubs. If you are a student from Europe, there is EFPSA (European Federation of Psychology Students Association). From America, there are Psi-Chi, APAGS (American Psychology Association for Graduate Students. Those are the biggest psychology organizations that you can involve and those will help you achieve better, widen your perspective, and many more! There is also the AIESEC student organization that is independent of the psychology field but basically works for students to achieve better, to get skills that need for life, and to make the world a better place. When you are involved in those organizations, you will be able to have a clear picture of what you might like to do in the future, and you will gain experiences that you cannot gain anywhere else.
Volunteer Work and Internships
Psychology is a relatively broader field to study. If you study psychology to pursue a career related to it, you are lucky and unlucky at the same time. Do not worry, you are only unlucky if you are a lazy person and just want to have a degree and start diagnosing people -because this is very unlikely to happen. You are lucky to study psychology because you are free. Psychology is everywhere where the human is. Today there is more than 20 different sub-field of psychology which you can direct yourself to improve the field itself; some of those, forensic psychology which applies psychological principles to legal issues, neuropsychology which explores relationships between brain systems and behavior, developmental psychology which studies psychological development at various life stages, and even engineering psychology that studies how people work best with machines. There are many more that you can search and find where you fit the best. But in order to see yourself working there, you must get practical knowledge. In order to do so, you should apply for volunteer jobs, internship programs, and try to be as active as possible.
I must add under this title, please follow your university’s Erasmus opportunities if you have. With Erasmus, you will have the chance to study for at least one semester in another country in the English language. It is a great opportunity to discover the world and to meet people from all around the globe.
Since the global pandemic has started virtual internship programs has started to arise. There is the website named The Forage that gives individuals opportunities to apply for virtual internships for free. Currently I have involved in General Electric (GE)’s Human Resources virtual internship program and it is not as you imagine. Apart from watching videos and reading about it, you are also given some tasks to fill in order to complete your experience, which makes the experience valuable!
Have a Facebook and LinkedIn Account
Nowadays, using Instagram is more popular than anything. There are also opportunities that you may find there but there are two applications that helped me more than Instagram could ever do: Facebook and LinkedIn. The reasons that I use for both of them are different; Facebook is a place where you can enroll in many groups of students, depending on your interest, and most importantly you will be able to see events there. This is for all college students! When you have spare time on the weekend and if you want to do something different than just reading or watching something, you can go to Facebook’s events section and according to your location, you will see all kinds of events ranging from music, literature, wellness, theatre and many more… When it comes to LinkedIn, you need an account in order to create a professional network and to meet people that you want to become in the future. From LinkedIn, you can connect people that inspire you and that will show you many opportunities that will shape your future. Do not forget to share content on LinkedIn that will make you stand out as a student, and you will maybe meet your future co-worker.
To sum up, psychology is a great knowledge ocean if you know how to swim. You will know soon or late how to swim but the sooner is better. If you have more suggestions, please feel free to contact me. Have a fulfilling study journey that you empower yourself and others!