We continue our series in which Psychology and Counselling students tell us about their study journeys. Charlotte is a student on DE200.
Tell us about you and your life situation
I am Charlotte, I live in Merseyside in the UK with my partner and I work as a secondary school librarian. I am (of course) an avid reader and I am also co-host of a local podcast. Previously, I completed a degree in English at The University of Liverpool.
Tell us why you’re interested in psychology and counselling
I have always been interested in how we form our opinions of people, objects and concepts through the ideals we learn as children, through the discussions we might have with our friends, through the media and what it takes to shift those opinions. For example, this year I took part in Vegan January – much to the surprise of my family and friends who have patiently listened to me telling them often that I could never ever go vegan as I loved chocolate too much! It is interesting to me to think about how these shifts happen in our attitudes and behaviours – was it the campaign itself that affected me, or maybe the fact that a few of my friends had gone vegan the year before, or would I have reached this point either way?
Tell us why you decided to study at the OU
I love to learn new things and always knew I wanted to complete another degree but I needed this to fit flexibly around my full time job and busy day to day life. The OU was perfect as all of the materials were available for me to work through whenever I had the time. The idea that I could never oversleep and miss a lecture like in the student days of my first degree was also an added bonus!
Tell us about the modules you’ve taken so far
So far I have completed two modules: Investigating Psychology 1 (DE100) and Psychology of childhood and youth (E219). I am currently studying Investigating psychology 2 (DE200). I am completing a degree in Psychology on a part-time basis so I complete one module per academic year.
What have been the high points for you? And what have been the low points of your study journey?
The points that have been wonderful are when a new concept really resonates and sets me off on a new direction of thought and discussion. I have also really valued the feedback from tutors throughout the module. Of course, receiving a high grade is another brilliant boost to your confidence in this new area. My only low point really would be that because of Covid 19 we are unable to hold our face-to-face tutorials. These were sessions with tutors to offer guidance and an opportunity to meet with your fellow coursemates. Of course, they are now held remotely but it isn’t quite the same as being able to pop for a coffee in the break and chat with your peers.
What are the most important or interesting things that you’ve learned, from the modules and/or from the study experience?
An area that has recently interested me in my module this year is discursive psychology which focuses on how social actions and practices are performed and produced in and through speech, language and text. As someone who loves to have a debate and records a weekly podcast on key topics, I really resonate with the idea that we are constantly re-evaluating the world with our conversations.
What advice would you give other students?
Build in key time each week that is your study time. Originally, I would sit for an extra hour after work and study (my new school have now kindly agreed to allow me time each day to study for an hour). Enjoy the process and remember that you don’t need to retain every piece of new information the first time you’re reading through your textbooks, it will sink in as you progress and put your knowledge into action.
What’s your next step in your journey?
I have two more years of study ahead of me, a core module and an elective module. I am really excited and a little nervous that ahead of me is the chance to run my own research study. Further afield I would love to complete a Masters in Psychology but it is going to be tough to narrow down which area of study I will focus on as with each week we are introduced a new interesting theme.
Thank you Charlotte!
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