“What was life without connection?” Oliver Sacks is highlighting that life is a series of interconnections between people, experiences, memories and emotions. I felt an instant emotional connection to Psychology. Fascinating is the only word I can use to describe Psychology. It helps us understand people, either as individuals or as a group, it explains why people do the things they do and how it can be applied to everyday life. Immediately becoming my favourite subject at A-Level, I like how all the social, biological and cognitive approaches are different which led me to complete several online courses to broaden my knowledge of Psychology, including how the mind works and dyslexia, which were both inspiring. I have a desire to help and with Psychology I can help people in many different ways, either people with a mental illness or a disability, like autism or epilepsy, and even though I am not able to make a difference in the whole world, I can help make a difference to someone’s world.
I particularly enjoy criminal Psychology as I find it really interesting how the people in the forensic and criminal field piece all the information together. This was shown well in Paul Britton’s ‘Jigsaw Man’. I also developed a great interest in the neurological side of Psychology after reading Oliver Sacks ‘The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat’, as it explains how everyone is unique and the variety of cases in the novel give an insight to how people all experience the world in different ways and makes you realise how infinite the world can be, and how the brain is the most important factor to what we experience in life.
My other A-Level subjects complement Psychology well; English with reading and writing and Geography helping with the analytical side of Psychology. My Psychology studies inspired my AS Textiles final piece as I focused on mental health after studying Thigpen and Cleckley’s report on multiple personality disorder as I thought it was interesting. After my follow up research, I realised how much the sector lacks support and that mental illness is a major social problem our society is facing.
I have completed my Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award and I am currently working towards Gold. For my residential I will be volunteering for Revitalise, an organisation that provides breaks for disabled people and carers, and from this I hope to gain experience working with a wide range of different people. I have also been a volunteer helping out at my primary schools kids club after school as I enjoy working with children. I undertook training to be a mentor in my school’s SMILE project, where I supported a Year 7 girl and helped her through any problems which arose. In addition to this I was a form rep in a Year 7 form to help if they have any issues. Through these experiences I have gained good teamwork skills and they have greatly improved my independence and confidence. Completing my Duke of Edinburgh awards helped me realise that I have a strong determination to achieve anything that I set my mind to and that when times got tough, I carried on going because of my self-motivation. Alongside this, I have a part-time job at the local Co-Operative and this has helped improve my communication, teamwork skills, using my initiative when problems arise and organisational skills so I can balance my work, academic life and social life well. All of these experiences involved me working in a team which mostly consisted of people I did not know, helping me develop confidence which I did not know I had and will help me later on in life which will be full of new experiences and people. I am a reliable and committed and I have taken on new responsibilities which helped prove that I am capable of anything and relish a challenge. At University I hope to enhance my knowledge of Psychology and I am looking forward to new opportunities and experiences.