School study journeys, Student news

Psychology and Counselling study journeys – 2

We continue our new series on student journeys. This week we hear from Rain, a student on DE300 and E313.

Tell us about you and your life situation

Hey! This is Rain. I’m a 21-year-old Filipino, living in the Philippines. I’m an undergraduate student at the Open University, studying Psychology and I am already in my final and fourth year. I live with my mom, my grandma, and my younger brother. My home life is pretty chill, to be honest, with my four dogs and my interest in Korean and K-pop to keep me entertained. I like to watch TV shows now and then, as well as write fan fiction and poetry. Reading good poetry excites me! I love listening to various genres of music and I also like to invest myself in some figure skating watching from time to time. To be honest, I find it hard to describe myself in adjectives, but quite a number of people who know me think I am a warm person. 🙂

Tell us why you’re interested in psychology and counselling

I think I’ve always been kind of interested in psychology since I was in high school – the mind fascinates me, people fascinate me, and just, like, the diversity of it all strikes me with much curiosity. Actually, in my first year in high school, I was deeply interested in introversion. I believe it had to do with my being highly introverted back then (and I still am, mostly!). I found comfort and solace in knowing I wasn’t alone and that there were others like me who behaved and felt the same way I did most of the time. 

So, yeah! That was the start of it. I kind of lost touch with my interest in psychology after that first year in high school, but it sort of returned in the final year when I had to think of careers and all that jazz. When people ask me why I chose psychology, and why I want to become a psychologist, I often – if not always – answer, “I want to help people help themselves.”

I have other reasons, if I think about it more, but that’s pretty much the gist of it! 😀

Tell us why you decided to study at the OU

It’s a long story, but basically, I decided to study at the OU after I had no choice but to drop out of a brick uni here in the Philippines. I’ve had major depression since I was 12 or 13, and it somehow worsened when I had to adjust to a new, unfamiliar, and much bigger environment in university. I was just generally in a bad place, mentally, and it was dangerous for me to be alone with myself. But at that  time, I still wanted to keep studying, so I was very conflicted. My mom, who is my biggest fan and source of support, felt the same way. So, after I was hospitalized two times, my mom took the initiative to search online courses. She then promptly discovered the Open University. It was the best decision we both – me, as the then 17-year-old student and my mom, my parent – could make back then, and seriously there is no regret whatsoever. I love the OU and it’s helped me a lot and given me a choice I didn’t even know I had. (Big) plus, it’s high-quality education, so like, wowww.

Tell us about the modules you’ve taken so far

The modules I have completed so far are: E102 Introduction to childhood studies and child psychology, DE100 Investigating Psychology, DD210 Living psychology: from the everyday to the extraordinary, DE200 Investigating Psychology. Currently, I am now taking DE300 Investigating Psychology and E313 Exploring psychological aspects of athletic development. (Weeeee!! Yes, I know – two modules at level 3. But I know I can do it!!!)

I am going to be honest and say that these past few years have been a blur for me. Time moves so fast! But what I can confidently say is, each module so far has been deeply interesting and thought-provoking (to say the least!). I have learned so, so much, it’s ridiculous. 

What have been the high points for you? And what have been the low points of your study journey?

A massive high point for me was when I studied E102 for my first year in the OU. I know it’s a level 1 study module and so it doesn’t count in my overall degree classification, but! I got a Distinction for it, and it made me so happy because I agonized over my last TMA back then, haha. Nowadays, when I feel like I can’t do it, I think back to that time of struggle (and then, success) and remind myself that I Can Do It.

Low points for my study… There are actually so many, I think. First is when I felt out of touch with psychology during my level 2 studies. And second is when I had to defer the modules I am studying now. My dog passed away while I was completing my last two modules, and it made me realize how emotionally unstable I was and how I needed more help. That help came in the form of cognitive behavioural therapy, after a consultation with my psychiatrist. After a couple of months of therapy sessions, I believe I emerged better and brighter and back on my feet. So yeah, that was definitely a low point for me, but also I think I needed a breather. I deferred, found my footing, and now I’m back on track – and that’s what matters. 

What are the most important or interesting things that you’ve learned, from the modules and/or from the study experience?

Brain plasticity! It’s so, soooo fun, when I think of it. It also helps me in my healing journey from depression. I can change the way I think! I can build new pathways inside my brain! I don’t know, it just oddly gives me this feeling of autonomy. It might be funny, but it’s true! 

What advice would you give other students?

Take it easy. Seek help – from your loved ones, from your tutor/s, from the OU – if you need to. Don’t be ashamed for needing support. Don’t compare yourself to others! Take it day by day or, like me, hour by hour. There is no better time than now.

What’s your next step in your journey?

Wooh! Oh boy. Well, I plan to take my postgraduate studies and training in England. I want to become a licensed psychologist. I want to succeed despite AND because of the trials I’ve faced in my life, and I know I will. Really, it’s just the next step. There are several more, but for now, I’ll be looking at the one right in front of me and go for it. I’ve got nothing to lose.

Thank you Rain!

If you are a student in the School and you would like to write about your own study journey, we’d like to hear from you. Contact us on FASS-Psych-Co-SocialMedia FASS-Psych-Co-SocialMedia@open.ac.uk

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