When I hear the word ‘university’, the word ‘refreshing’ comes to my mind because it finally feels like taking a step away from childhood and a step towards maturity, growing, and finding my ‘true’ self. I began to learn things about myself that I never knew and started to understand how things work in the real world. Some of the major things I learnt in life had to do with my degree programme and modules, the people I met, and the extra-curricular activities I was involved in. The reason I chose Psychology as a career path is because I have always been fascinated by the science of human behaviour – as in, “Why people behave the way they do?” The immense passion to succeed, fascination and curiosity regarding the subject matter made me go for it. I believe in putting my 100% into everything I do. For me, my education has always been my top priority. I personally believe that every individual may hold different views on education: it is only a waste of time to some while to others it is one of the inevitable factors strongly influencing their success or failure in life. I belong to the second group, highly valuing what tertiary education brings to me. Therefore, it truly deserves my best efforts and determination.
As I began my undergraduate journey at IMU, I realised that self-study is a must! In addition to attending various lectures, I had to prepare for them; do a lot of extra reading, finish all the required exercises and/or assignments before the deadline, do reports, do research, take part in presentations, etc. The aforementioned activities eventually built up my habit of self-study. This habit allowed me to work independently and creatively in my field of study. Gradually, I began to get involved in extra reading because I felt that I am able to gain further knowledge and skills through my own study. Initially, it was difficult to cope but eventually, I started to adapt to the new environment and the process of adaptation didn’t seem difficult due to the very supportive lecturers. Now, I have become a lot more passionate about Psychology than I was before.
I also highly appreciate the knowledge and skills I have acquired through a variety of volunteering activities at the University (such as those conducted at orphanages and for disadvantaged children, teaching PowerPoint skills to children of Precious Homes in Malaysia, the Bumblebee Project, being the emcee for the 5th IMU Professionalism & Ethics Forum, projects with Dignity for Children Foundation (DFC), promotion of organ donation and ‘sexual health education’ for a secondary school in Malaysia). These opportunities gave me a chance to develop myself further in various aspects other than my academics.
During the course of my studies at IMU, I developed several skills such as time management, being highly organised with my work, professionalism, working under pressure, working as a team member and many more. I personally feel that such knowledge and skills will make me really competent at my work, and get me ready to face any challenges in future with confidence.
As I graduate this year (2018) on 30 June, I can’t express my happiness for being awarded with the Tun Zahir Merit Award (for being the Top Student in the Dean’s List). Although this journey wasn’t an easy one and was indeed very challenging, my lecturers’ support and guidance throughout has always been helpful and meaningful. I believe that what I have learned in IMU is not limited to my academics, but is a form of lifelong learning. All in all, the three years of my university life have taught me the aforementioned important life lessons and have developed and equipped me with skills that have made me grow as a person and realise my potential. As for now, I intend to pursue Masters in the near future.
To those who are keen to understand and further explore this fascinating science of human brain and behaviour, my advice would be to GO FOR IT. Undoubtedly, Psychology is considered as a very vast and consistently growing field that allows students to choose from a variety of modules that range from Industrial Psychology to Clinical and Counselling Psychology (and many more)! Studying Psychology will not only help you to understand and reflect upon yourself better but also allow you to serve for the betterment of the community and work towards improving the lives of others. Written by psychology alumna, Dhara Joshi.