From the lab to the chair | Nina’s look at psychology

Hi I’m Nina!

After watching 28 Weeks’ Later for the first time when I was in Year 12, I became terrified of the zombie virus becoming a reality. I decided that I wanted to work in a real-life laboratory with dangerous diseases. I completed a degree in medical science and started working full-time in a diagnostic laboratory.

While working in the lab I realised my need for constant socialising made me a poor fit for the laboratory which requires diligence, focus and independent work. I frequently found myself more interested in understanding the thought processes and motivations behind my poor co-workers’ personalities and decisions, incessantly quizzing them about what they were thinking and why.

After too many deep-and-meaningfuls with absolutely anyone who allowed me to metaphorically pick their brains apart, I decided to seriously turn my focus towards psychology. What better way to combine my scientific background with my interest in people?

I started studying the Bachelor of Psychological Sciences (Graduate Entry) at Flinders University with the aim of becoming a Clinical Psychologist. The study required to become a psychologist is a massive commitment; students need to complete a minimum of 6-years of study to become a qualified psychologist. Having previously completed a degree at uni meant that I was able to easily start another degree and receive credit which meant that I only needed to study the undergrad Psychology degree in 1 year instead of 3 years.

Throughout my degree, I learned about the fundamentals of psychology as well as consolidated my knowledge of research methods which are extremely important for testing psychological theories. We can’t just make up theories without people without backing it up with evidence! There are also a whole lot of psychology electives available which allow students to explore the different applications of psychology. One of my favourite electives was Social and Personality Psychology where I learnt about how internet quizzes compare to a psychologist’s testing toolkit in assessing personality traits

(Spoiler alert: apparently “What superhero are you?’ isn’t a great measure of personality!).

My ultimate goal in studying psychology is to become a clinical psychologist with a focus on helping people find their dream job based on their interests and abilities. The moral of my story is that is no right or wrong choice when you’re trying to figure out what to study at uni. There’s always opportunities to try out and change courses and even careers until you find what suits you best. After all, my first career choice was based on a zombie movie and now I feel I’ve finally found my calling at Flinders.

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