Student Journeys

A Lost Psychologist

Psychology is a degree that elaborates upon how a diminutive experience or event in one’s life could ultimately have a life-changing impact on them. How could one be in the wrong place at the wrong time or the right place at the right time, and those chain of events could leave them with lifelong trauma or, contrarily, lifelong contentment? After my first year of studying undergraduate Psychology, I recognised that I aspired to investigate the impact of mental health in other countries, particularly where there is a lack of psychological knowledge and resources.

Fortunately, I discovered this captivating module, Democratic Engagement In An International Context. A module that would allow me to visit a foreign country where I could observe an international community that operates under distinctive political systems and civic responsibilities. A module where I would get to collaborate with young University students like me, except they would be from a different country and have a wholly altered way of life to me. I instantly became interested in how I could apply my psychological knowledge to this module.

I recall picking this module and having a surge of excitement course through me about what this would entail and how it would impact me. I always felt unsatisfied with my degree, not knowing what path I wanted to acquire, but this module opened doors for me. The introductory lecture made me feel optimistic; I listened eagerly as my module leader enthusiastically told us that we would be visiting Bangkok and that, in the coming weeks, we would learn about Thai culture, history and socioeconomic factors. I belonged somewhere in that room of like-minded individuals who also wanted to travel and who wanted to apply their expertise to this experience.

Bangkok is just the beginning; I want to spread my knowledge of psychology far and wide. I’m from Pakistan, where mental health is not taken seriously, and I aspire to change this narrative. I discovered at least 1 suicide attempt every 10 minutes in Thailand due to the lack of mental health support; I want to understand why this is the case. My advancing psychological knowledge could allow me to raise awareness of unnoticed mental health conditions. Perhaps this module could be the diminutive experience or event that could have a life-changing impact on me.

Laraib Akram

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