PeopleSpiegeloog 399: Attention

What is it like: Alex van der Hoop

By December 23, 2019 January 6th, 2020 No Comments

Alex van der Hoop


What is it like to be a Psychology student? Three questions for Alex van der Hoop (bachelor, second year).

What is the most useful thing that you’ve learned from Psychology?

‘Before I started studying psychology, I had difficulty understanding what factors made people who they are. I didn’t know why some people thought differently from others or how to describe these different ways of thinking. Psychology taught me how to interpret people’s behaviour, how to understand their problems and how to talk about them. Additionally, I also have a better understanding of what’s happening in my own mind now. For example, when feeling emotions, I better understand why they occur and know how to regulate them. Because of this better understanding of other people’s minds, as well as my own, I have found myself to be more empathetic towards others.’

What do you like and dislike about Psychology at UvA?

‘I think the main thing I like about psychology at the UvA is its people. I met many people that I would have never met anywhere else. I really appreciate the students I met, because they are also very interested in the way people think and I really enjoy talking to them about this topic. The thing I dislike the most is the way the exams work. I feel like they never really test my knowledge, but just exist to check whether I’m participating in the course or not. I also dislike having to do many courses I’m not that interested in. I would like the option to choose a specialisation earlier on, so I can just study the subjects I find interesting.’

How do you make sure you keep paying attention during lectures?

‘I like to draw during lectures. I feel like the professors are often explaining things too slowly for me. Doing two things at the same time – drawing and listening – helps me to stay focused. If I didn’t draw, I would get more seriously distracted, by my phone for example. I would look up interesting topics on there and get distracted for a longer period of time, diverting my attention from the lecture for a while. When I’m drawing, however, I can keep listening to the topics I understand. Whenever there’s a difficult topic or if I don’t understand something, I can put down my pencil and pay more attention. This system works very well for me.’

Alex van der Hoop


What is it like to be a Psychology student? Three questions for Alex van der Hoop (bachelor, second year).

 

What is the most useful thing that you’ve learned from Psychology?

‘Before I started studying psychology, I had difficulty understanding what factors made people who they are. I didn’t know why some people thought differently from others or how to describe these different ways of thinking. Psychology taught me how to interpret people’s behaviour, how to understand their problems and how to talk about them. Additionally, I also have a better understanding of what’s happening in my own mind now. For example, when feeling emotions, I better understand why they occur and know how to regulate them. Because of this better understanding of other people’s minds, as well as my own, I have found myself to be more empathetic towards others.’

What do you like and dislike about Psychology at UvA?

‘I think the main thing I like about psychology at the UvA is its people. I met many people that I would have never met anywhere else. I really appreciate the students I met, because they are also very interested in the way people think and I really enjoy talking to them about this topic. The thing I dislike the most is the way the exams work. I feel like they never really test my knowledge, but just exist to check whether I’m participating in the course or not. I also dislike having to do many courses I’m not that interested in. I would like the option to choose a specialisation earlier on, so I can just study the subjects I find interesting.’

How do you make sure you keep paying attention during lectures?

‘I like to draw during lectures. I feel like the professors are often explaining things too slowly for me. Doing two things at the same time – drawing and listening – helps me to stay focused. If I didn’t draw, I would get more seriously distracted, by my phone for example. I would look up interesting topics on there and get distracted for a longer period of time, diverting my attention from the lecture for a while. When I’m drawing, however, I can keep listening to the topics I understand. Whenever there’s a difficult topic or if I don’t understand something, I can put down my pencil and pay more attention. This system works very well for me.’

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