Friday, 20 July 2018

Life update 2018: Studies, Social Life, Visions for this blog

Hi everyone, it's been a while since I have written anything on my blog. Some of you might wonder what I have been up to, some might have no clue I have a blog. Now you know.

My studies

Life, has as usual taken a huge part of my attention this past seven months. In July 2017, I have finished my undergraduate degree in Psychology and since February this year, I have been pursuing my Honours degree in Psychology at Australian Catholic University in Melbourne. I have always wanted to get admitted into the highly competitive Honours in Psychology degree in Australia. Through sheer hardwork and determination, I made it, however, what came after admission was not something I could predict beforehand. The workload was heavy. We (students) had to deal with multiple assignment deadlines at the same time and meet with group members for group discussion as well. I had to learn one statistical technique every week, which was unlike in my undergrad degree, where we had the luxury of 3 to 4 weeks to learn a topic.

My first semester was tough. I did my best, and my results was satisfactory. Although there is still room for improvement, I am grateful for the marks I got given the difficulty of the course.

Social Relationships 

Unexpectedly, my social relationships improved tremendously this past 6 months. It was probably due to the small class sizes at my uni and friendly and understanding peers and lecturers. Given the difficulty of the course, I often rant to my friends (who offer their listening ears) and they would understand my struggles because they too are in the same position. Facebook chat groups and Facebook page were formed quickly at the start of the semester, and that offered a sense that "we are in this together".

As the course was demanding, I had to drag myself to uni almost everyday and motivate myself to get something done, no matter how small the task is. But when I feel discouraged or had an impulse to drop out of Psych honours, I remind myself that I have 39 other friends doing the degree with me, and that gave me comfort and courage to carry on.

Besides, there were lots of changes and pressures which came as part of the nature of this course that we had to adapt to. For example, I came up with my thesis topic idea the night before I submitted my research proposal. Due to insufficient time for detailed research, I changed my hypotheses and variables multiple times. Also, due to the lack of time, I had to creatively choose the questions I wanted to do in an assignment in order to make my life easier. But through it all, I am grateful and happy that I had my friends' support.

Another part of my social life that improved was the new circles of friends that I have made. In the past, I used to (perhaps unconsciously) stick with friends that neither shared my values nor particularly want me in their circles. However, this year, I have deliberately sought out new friendships with people who shared my values of mutual respect, authenticity and openness. This has led to experience greater fulfillment in my life and improved my wellbeing.

Vision for this blog
It has been interesting reading my old posts on this blog. I have realised that my ideas for blog posts now has changed quite a lot compared to what I thought were good blog post ideas in the past. To me, that isn't a bad thing. Rather it's evidence of growth, of learning, of new reflection on life. It has been a journey these few years. I have learned to be more empathetic, understand other's perspective and hold back of judging others. I have also been more sociable and outgoing.

One of the main reasons I have not posted much these past 6 months was that I feared what others would think if I post content that my viewers may disagree on. I had fears that I may be judged for my values, beliefs and perspectives. However, if I don't put it out there, how would my blog reflect my aim of being authentic?

So, after pondering on it and talking to some people about my concerns, I have decided to write what I think will benefits others, regardless of what others think of me as a person. If I wanted to please everyone, I probably will never write another word on my blog. I am always open to others commenting their views on a certain topics, all I ask is respect for each others and be civil.

My vision for this blog in the near future will be posts about spirituality, studying psychology, reflections on life and learnings from people. Even though I am not the most creative writer or a know-it-all, I hope some of my posts will benefit you and you would be happy to pass them along to a friend who may enjoy them.