Psychology is a diverse field. So, it is not surprising that most psychology students experience cognitive overload when they explore branches of psychology other than the ever-popular clinical and counseling psychology. Here are some pro tips for psychology students that would make navigation in the field a bit easier for students.
Be an astute observer of human behavior and social Phenomenon in your surroundings:
Psychology, at its core, is about developing an understanding of what and whys of human behavior. Educational institutions provide ample opportunities for students to learn beyond classroom settings. Be alert and simply pay attention to life: Just watching people and observing the social processes around you can give you an insight into how a theoretical concept might actually work.
Recognize the influence of psychology in other disciplines like political science, sociology, literature:
It is necessary to understand that psychology doesn’t exist in isolation. It is a discipline that is spread across multiple disciplines and as such influences and in turn, is influenced by them.
Psychology helps us understand an individual in the context of their larger social presence. It is imperative to recognize that the life experiences of a person are reflected in his/her actions. Psychology also helps us understand group behavior and thus would serve well as we try to understand the political scenario around us.
Pursue as many internship opportunities as possible:
In addition to enhancing skills and competencies and thus, increasing employability, internships serve the higher purpose of introducing you to the practical realities and work opportunities available in various fields of psychology. Hands-on knowledge and experience help immensely in exploring and deciding future career opportunities based on personal experience in the field. Internships also help to widen your network of contacts in your field.
Stay up to date with current researches:
Psychology is an ever-evolving field. At any moment, hundreds of researches are being done in the diverse sub-fields of psychology. It is essential to be up to date with the latest developments in your field to be able to excel as a psychologist. Read blogs written by psychologists, journals and magazine articles featuring referenced psychological information; watch TED talks; listen to podcasts; and scan newspapers for psychological narratives. Knowledge is the most powerful tool we have; it’s our duty to keep it sharpened. If you are inclined towards counseling and/or clinical psychology, then you may closely follow the work of a renowned psychologist and psychiatrist to become aware of the recent therapeutic developments
Practice the skills you learn in everyday life to enhance your quality of living:
The old adage, “Practice makes a man perfect”, holds especially true for psychology in this day and age where it is transforming from a theoretical discipline towards a more applied field. It is, therefore, necessary for each psychology student to use their learned skills and competencies in real life to understand and, when possible, resolve inner and outer conflicts of the self and others in the society. Psychology equips students with tremendous skills and competencies that are required in better day-to-day functioning of an individual. So, let’s do justice to this discipline and use these for the overall betterment of life.
Above all, keep in touch with your professors and colleagues as, “Knowledge is embodied in people gathered in communities and networks. The road to knowledge is via people, conversations, connections and relationships. Knowledge surfaces through dialog, all knowledge is socially mediated and access to knowledge is by connecting to people that know or know who to contact”. –Denham Grey