PeopleSpiegeloog 410: RainbowsWhat is it like?

What is it like? – Tobias Hanses

By March 19, 2021No Comments

Tobias Hanses


What is it like to be a Psychology student? Three questions for Tobias Hanses (bachelor, second year).

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

‘The most useful thing I’ve learned so far about psychology is that everything is relative to some extent. You start studying psychology with the attitude that everything you will learn is determined and agreed upon, that with the help of psychology you can know what other people think, how the brain works, and that everything is a ‘black-white matter’. However, this initial conviction turned out to be far from reality. Especially now, in the first semester of the second year, you are told that there are many different views on various concepts and theories, almost questioning the scientific component of psychology. In my case, this gave me a more modest view on what psychology actually can do. I still perceive psychological knowledge as valuable and useful, just less absolute.’

What do you like and dislike about Psychology at UvA?

‘What I really like about Psychology at the UvA is the self-study part. I like that, on the one hand, you can organize your time yourself, but, on the other hand, you can also get good help and guidance if needed. However, it quickly becomes apparent that your freedom in organizing your daily schedule is quite limited. Studying Psychology at the UvA is very demanding and the schedule is so full that you barely find time for other things, like taking part in a study association or pursuing your hobbies. A majority of my fellow students have brought up this issue. If you just somewhat strive for more or less good grades, you probably will not have much free time, in which you can differentiate yourself from others. That is a pity. More so because Amsterdam has much to offer.’

A rainbow needs reflections to appear, and we have to do reflections as psychology students to shape ourselves and our work. What is your opinion on the reflections we do during our studies?

‘When talking about reports or other scientific writings, reflecting on one’s own progress is indispensable, if taken seriously. One reason is that reflection becomes more important when you keep the relativity within psychology in mind, that we just talked about. Another reason is simply that many people in this programme will later publish scientific texts themselves. Like it or not, but these are the articles that also lay people will – indirectly – build their opinions and knowledge upon. So, it would be reassuring to know that these authors reflect on the way they select their information and interpret their own findings. But to be honest, this is a rather optimistic view on how important these reflections in the tutorials actually are. ‘

Tobias Hanses


What is it like to be a Psychology student? Three questions for Tobias Hanses (bachelor, second year).

 

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

‘The most useful thing I’ve learned so far about psychology is that everything is relative to some extent. You start studying psychology with the attitude that everything you will learn is determined and agreed upon, that with the help of psychology you can know what other people think, how the brain works, and that everything is a ‘black-white matter’. However, this initial conviction turned out to be far from reality. Especially now, in the first semester of the second year, you are told that there are many different views on various concepts and theories, almost questioning the scientific component of psychology. In my case, this gave me a more modest view on what psychology actually can do. I still perceive psychological knowledge as valuable and useful, just less absolute.’

What do you like and dislike about Psychology at UvA?

‘What I really like about Psychology at the UvA is the self-study part. I like that, on the one hand, you can organize your time yourself, but, on the other hand, you can also get good help and guidance if needed. However, it quickly becomes apparent that your freedom in organizing your daily schedule is quite limited. Studying Psychology at the UvA is very demanding and the schedule is so full that you barely find time for other things, like taking part in a study association or pursuing your hobbies. A majority of my fellow students have brought up this issue. If you just somewhat strive for more or less good grades, you probably will not have much free time, in which you can differentiate yourself from others. That is a pity. More so because Amsterdam has much to offer.’

A rainbow needs reflections to appear, and we have to do reflections as psychology students to shape ourselves and our work. What is your opinion on the reflections we do during our studies?

‘When talking about reports or other scientific writings, reflecting on one’s own progress is indispensable, if taken seriously. One reason is that reflection becomes more important when you keep the relativity within psychology in mind, that we just talked about. Another reason is simply that many people in this programme will later publish scientific texts themselves. Like it or not, but these are the articles that also lay people will – indirectly – build their opinions and knowledge upon. So, it would be reassuring to know that these authors reflect on the way they select their information and interpret their own findings. But to be honest, this is a rather optimistic view on how important these reflections in the tutorials actually are. ‘

Anne Giacobello

Author Anne Giacobello

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