Should people accept the status quo, or should they look at why things have become a certain way and look for deeper insights? Can we ever say that something is an absolute fact, or is everything really a belief? I have found pondering questions like this in my psychology A-level course really fascinating. My reading around each topic has propelled me into a new world, and one that I want to stay within to study at an even higher level, which is why I have chosen to study psychology at university.
The other A-levels that I have studied have become supportive elements to my interest in psychology. Biology has enable me to understand more about how the brain works on a physical and chemical level and chemistry has made the biology of neurotransmitters make much more sense. I am looking forward to finding out more about the interface between the physical workings of the brain and how chemistry and chemical signalling can bring about nerve signals and, ultimately, thought.
I have also found a strong link between psychology and the humanities subjects I studied at GCSE. During the first year of college I chose English literature as an additional AS subject. I won’t pursue it to A2 level but I feel I now have a more thorough grounding in literature that will give me a life-long interest. Reading novels and fiction is a great relaxation and provides me with a different perspective on my hard science reading. Combining four subjects has made my first year at college very busy but this has made me more aware of the need to organise my time, to focus on key tasks and to not waste time.
Outside academic work I am a committed rider and although I don’t own a horse of my own, I go riding at my local stables at weekends and help out two mornings a week with mucking out. This means getting up very early, before I go to college, so it’s a good motivator. I’ve also volunteered with the riding school for disabled children that the stables has run for the past three years and I have enjoyed helping children to ride confidently when they may not be able to walk. To see their obvious pleasure in this achievement is very humbling.
Although I’m not intending to have a gap year, I have planned to travel for 3 months in the summer and go to Chile, where I hope to be able to combine riding with more volunteering. This experience will be challenging but will help me mature, ready to face the bigger challenges of university life and a career in psychology.