Thursday, March 17, 2011

psychology and me....

Hhmmmm.....1st year is about to end. in a week or so, the course will be completed, n then...exams.

Ok, this much confidence is there that I will do well, hopefully top.....but as we had been told in our very first class by Dr. Indu Bahadur, our general psychology Ma'am, psychology can never be learnt entirely from textbooks.....and as some other teacher had said, some other time, that the topper may not necessarily be the best psychologist. Now this is what I love about 'my' subject....its unending challenges, its unfathomable vastness, its enigmatic character, its dual nature, its still alive age old controversies, its knack of having an explanation ready for every sort of behavior under the sun.....and not the least, the kind of reverence people shower you with, believing that you might have the answer to all their problems, the ease with which they confide in you knowing that you are a psychology student. Actually reverence comes afterwards...the first reaction of people around is suspicion and fear lol. I remember how one of the friends of my roomate had told me that she will remain away from me as far as possible, lest I should start 'studying' her and analysing her behavior!!!!!!

Now that was too exaggerated a perception, but that throws light on just what the spectrum of people's ideas about us can range upto. One thing I find really funny is girls start asking about themeselves "hamare baare mein kuch bataao", imagining us more astrologers than psychologists!.

And not just that, psychology can actually act as a very handy tool when you may want to keep people at a distance. Just walk into the metro with an 'abnormal psychology' book :D

The best quality of our subject is, as our physiological psychology Ma'am Dr. Meetu Khoshla often tells, that we have a combination of the good things from many different fields. Needless to say, it is as much a science subject as that of humanities. And that makes it super exciting. Enough of techno stuff to keep people like me happy, and a generous touch of  non-science elements too, to prevent it from becoming drab. Yes, it hurts that even though we study the same thing as our counterparts do in other parts of the country, we get a B.A. (hons) psy degree whereas they get B.Sc (hons) psy (e.g. in Calcutta Univ.)...reason? We study philosophy n pol. science as subsidiary subjects and those more fortunate people study science subjects. But as our HOD and statistics Ma'am Dr. Indu Gupta had said on our orientation day, she fought over the issue for 30 years....and then gave up....bowing down to the all-humanities power lobbies of DU (LSR,IP,KNC). For once, we hav no choice.

The one thing I like the most about our classes is the variety of practical knowledge we are exposed to...from having to identify emotions from facial expressions of research participants on projector screen, to brain storming sessions on what interviewers look for, what exactly are they seeking to evaluate when they ask this and that (including jagging you with inane questions dat hav no relevance to your future job profile :D)....to studying body language, discussing stand-out case studies and what not.
Of course, having been with the subject for only 7 months or so....it will be a grave folly to overestimate ourselves as psychologists, but as Dr. Meetu Ma'am had once declared, much to our surprise and joy, that once you enroll yourself into psychology hons., you are already 'aadhaa' psychologist.

Ttime and time again we are reminded that if we opt for organisational psychology, we will have an edge over the MBAs....they being mechanical....we being sensitive. Of course, we will be confined to recruitment, public relations and HR stuff but that in itself is an indispensable requirement of any organisation and "aaj ki date mein, every organisation worth its salt, has a psychologist", to quote Dr. Harpreet Bhatia Ma'am. People who are inclined towards clinical psychology, will hav to slug it out, for years.... b4 they can set up private practice. But it befits the kind of responsibility and power to change one's life around associated with it. For counselling people, avenues are unending....sports, educational institutes, criminal, legal, rehabilitation of drug addicts, victims of natural disasters, suicide prone individuals blah blah blah.


For me, psychology has been the perfect choice, in that it happens to be something I am hugely interested in and that it is a crisp, mark-fetching subject for IAS mains (the 1st thing to attract me towards this subject). It is a blessing ( and unforeseen) that we have organisational psychology in 3rd year, out of the 3 options we can choose from (the other two being counselling and clinical psychology)....as it will not just provide me with basics of my 2nd optional for IAS mains, which is public adminstration.....I will also be able to add a psychology touch to my pub ad answers.

Will end the article with a mention of my favourite Ma'am's words.....Miss Shivani Ma'am's....."your biggest +ve is that you are a psychology student...........and your biggest -ve is, that you are a psychology student."
How? Think it over. Psychology for you!!!!