Okay, not school (not even £1 million per hour could tempt me to go back there!), but I’m going back to university! I’m off to study a Masters in Forensic Psychology to be more precise.
Ever since I learned about Zimbardo’s Prison study in A-Level psychology I knew I wanted to be a forensic psychologist one day. Of course I never thought I’d ever get there; Master’s course were just too expensive (and there was no loan available what-so-ever when I began my undergrad) and I just didn’t think I’d have the confidence to waltz into a prison and deal with offenders. That being said, my interest in the subject grew with every legal psychology lecture (and every podcast about serial killers I listened to and every crime drama I watched on tv obviously).
So why am I going back to uni now? Well, things have changed.
Not only have the government introduced a postgraduate loan which has made this financially possible, but I’ve become more confident and more experienced than I was when I walked into my first ever lecture five years ago. Not only am I now wandering into custody and dealing with offenders as a day job AND as a voluntary role, but I’m actually good at it. I’ve gone from thinking what’s the point in even trying? to I know I can do this and be bloody good at it too!
I can’t lie to you though; it’s been a long and difficult road leading up to this point. There have been worries about whether I’m doing the right thing, doubts about whether forensic psychology is the career for me, and crippling bouts of impostor syndrome (which I’m still feeling now. Most of my professors have told us during welcome week that it was difficult to be offered a place and so many people were turned down but I still don’t believe them).
These thoughts and feelings haven’t just magically disappeared over night, as much as I wish they would. But I know that they will fade in time. I know that I am capable and, after years of putting myself down and telling myself I’m not good enough, I’m starting to believe that, actually, I am good enough and I can succeed.
I accepted my uni place very late (less than a week before the start date) as I suddenly decided that I needed to take charge of my life. This last year has been terrible – probably my worst year to date. But it has also taught me some valuable lessons: don’t settle for things that don’t make you happy, you’re more capable than you think you are, and there’s always a solution to a problem. Oh, and no matter how much certain people annoy the hell out of you, if they look after you and support you cling on to them for dear life!
This time last year I felt trapped in a dead-end job in an industry I cannot stand, watching everyone I know push on with their careers and move forward with their lives. I felt myself becoming more and more miserable and convinced that my life would be like that forever. Now I’m beginning a new chapter. I’ve got a job I love, a university course that I’m so excited to get stuck in to, a world of new societies to try out (and more confidence to throw myself into them), and I’m meeting new, interesting people and seeing a side to life I never knew existed.
And, what’s more is, it’s all happened so suddenly. After months of loneliness and hopeless feelings my world has exploded in the best possible way. What a difference a year makes, eh?
“You’re off to great place, today is your day, your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!” – Dr Seuss
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