Well hello again,
We’ve made it! We’ve submerged ourselves in the tale of my higher education and have finally reached the finale: Stage Five, my fifth and final year of my undergraduate degree. It has been a long, hard road to get to this point. It has also come round surprisingly quickly- it doesn’t seem that long ago that I was a wide-eyed Fresher, but there you are. I always have to remind myself of how well I have done to get to this point- loads of people have dropped out or decided five years is too much of an undertaking- but I made it. That is an achievement in and of itself. This year “bumps up” me degree to an ‘undergraduate Masters’, whatever that really means- so I will leave with a MPsych- Masters in Psychology. It’s not as good as an MSc (which I why I am going on to do one of those!), but it’s better than an BSc. Lots of people ask me why I am doing ‘another’ Masters, thinking it is a waste of time- wrong. When we’re all applying for the same jobs, you have to be the one who sticks out. An MSc trumps an MPsych every day of the week. It sounds selfish, but in this field, you have to be willing to go the extra mile.
This year, I have specialised. I am undertaking a particular pathway called “Foundations in Clinical Psychology”. It’s all coursework based, so whilst there is no last minute revision to be cramming in, there is a lot of underlying stress. I have four deadlines this month alone, so don’t let anyone tell you coursework is easy! So far, the lectures haven’t been marvellous, but my grades haven’t been too awful. We have small classes now, which makes the lecturing seem a bit more personal, and I have a good friend who I can discuss the work with. I am also in a university society, and that keeps me busy.
This year, though, my main concern is my mental health. We’re getting to my “danger zone”, where my mental health is most likely to take a beating. February is really bad for some reason, I’m still trying to figure out anyway. Anyway, I am making sure I have plenty of time to look after myself- I go to the gym a lot, I do other things I enjoy (like the theatre), and I am keeping a close eye on my mental health. I use scales used in mental health assessments to see where I am at. By doing so, I can figure out what helps me feel better and what makes me start the downward spiral. For me, it’s keeping busy (very, very busy, so I have no time to think!) and routine. There is a time for everything, there is an order to everything and everything has a plan. That helps me feel in control. And so far, it seems to be working. I feel surprisingly okay, and knowing that I have some measure of control over my mental health, something I haven’t had before, is really making a difference.
Now I must abandon you for a few days- my boyfriend is down and I just won’t find the time to write. I will be back Monday, so I hope you all enjoy your weekends!