Name: Yamini Kaul
Mental state: hysterical or hormonal because fe-male or 19
Age : Chronological :19 , mental : oscillates between 5 to 60 , sexual :18
I entered my first year with a lot of arrogance, minimal knowledge and no sense of self or identity. Always used to having my way, I tried to do the same with psychology and I still am. Trying to de code it’s ways and trying to get inside it’s head. I wasn’t reckless but I wasn’t aware either. Keeping in mind the individual I was, psychology in college was different ,not very though. Or maybe it was me who was different.
I have been studying and at times trying to study psychology for the past four years and still haven’t gotten in touch with its spirit. Some would say “ But oh you know psychology is not a fixed idea, it’s dynamism is reflected in its ability to catch up with time’’
To those I would say, time doesn’t alter. The stated change in time is a reflection of the change of the subject matter during a certain frame in order to trace the change and it’s time of origin. In the same way, psychology changes with people’s ideas and the different contexts people are exposed to. When a student would study qualitative research, she would be gauging at this concept of the multiple realities and an individual’s exposition to diverse contexts.
The first year throws a lot of opportunities at you. At times you might be plain disappointed with your decision or you might be overzealous to ignore the knowledge and time at hand. You might be in here because of the college’s prestige or you really might be in for psychology.In second year , I will disagree to the ‘fact’ that I know more and my juniors know less but only because I think critically (if my seniors know what I mean).At times you will feel in connection with the spirit of psychology and it’s various paradigms and at times everything will just go over your head. To those I’d say ‘hold on’ it is not over yet.
Surely you will be writing a lot and initially you’ll be encouraged to think and question. I don’t want to paint a grim picture of the future of this effort, but there are very high chances that it could fade away. The professors will be in a hurry to complete the syllabus and you could lose your interest and might suddenly find English literature very fascinating. To those I’d say go ahead with it. I know you will come back.
You will be encouraged to read a lot but might never find yourself reading classics and original texts. You might be reading the interpretation and re- translated re-revised versions of those texts or you might just end up studying health psychology. One day you might find yourself drenched in philosophical treatises and realize there is no point in a debate or argument as life still goes by, so what difference does it make whether I function more deterministically or more in accordance with my free will. One day, you might be reading batman comics or classics of Carl Sagan. In this whole razzmatazz, you will ask yourself if you were right in taking psychology over hsitory or “Damn, I should have taken Punjabi honours” . To those I’d say, wait a lot more self questioning is to come.
At times, you will feel inspired and you will be beaming with ideas, yet you won’t be able to execute them and give up on the whole process. Reading in physiological psychology opened a whole new world to me and I felt reconnected with something. Later I did not still find myself quipped with the ideas to construct a philosophy of physiology or de construct it’s core.
You might not find yourself filled with conviction Or there might just be one day, that you might find yourself becoming a feminist.
But, you will question yourself, your standing and your contribution in the society. You might not find yourself anywhere, in none of the wagons of these trains of thought. You might be jumping from one wagon to another and not find your ground ever. To those I’d say, it is good to be lost .It is good to make mistakes. It is good to be hard on yourself and it is good to not care.
For what will emerge after this period of continuous questioning, arguments and thinking will be a self that you never knew could exist. Yet you might see your ‘self’through others and in relation to others as Emmanuel Levinas would expound effortlessly upon the concept of self and the other.There will be days where the self will be bound to be influenced by life’s circumstances yet that self will be carved so beautifully and will be so capable of being independent in thought and action.
All through this time, the one thing that struck me the most as a student was the pervasiveness of psychology, that is if you allow yourself to let go of concrete notions of what psychology is.How it touches upon the multitudes of other subjects which try to create their own individuality yet lose the sense of connectedness with all themes of knowledge. Psychology can make one transcend all boundaries if one allows it to do so. It exposes you to insane phenomena in all areas where at one point you will question yourself as to what you chose to study originally. From evolutionary psychology to behavioural economics, you ll see your vision broadening.
You see, the trick lies in letting go of pre conceived notions yet not lose the structure of your path. While the FYUP might have resolved the century long argument of whether psychology is a science or not, one must not forge an image of psychology because the more we limit it’s scope, nature and definition, the more limited will be it’s growth and interaction with other domains. The more unfulfilling will be your job as an academician and all the more shallow will be the development of the community.