Earning a Psychology Degree at 40+?…WHY?

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psychology 4Well, if you’d have asked me a year ago when I applied to study Psychology at 40+, I’d have told you exactly what I wanted to do, and where, and why….

Fast-forward to today and…well…I’m not so sure.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from disappointed with my decision. What I did do, like most people do, was go in with a few… erm…misconceptions regarding Psychology… (time for a list? … yeah, why not).

5 – CRIME DRAMAS (Shameless plug alert) – CSI, Luther, The WIRE, Criminal Minds, Dexter, Breaking Bad, Sherlock, True Detective, Law and Order…. They all use Psychological profiling to catch the bad guys. Sadly, that’s just Hollywood. It’s not like that at all.

psychology 74 – OPPOSITES ATTRACT – So there’s no real chemistry in opposites. It’s a claim made stubbornly, by people who want something different. The fact of the matter is closer to finding someone who compliments you, rather than your polar opposite, those relationships tend not to last. FIRE and WATER = opposites. VESSEL + WATER = compliments.

psychology 93- SIGMUND FREUD – Sex, Dreams, Hypnotherapy. His theories were wild and misunderstood. Today they are considered inaccurate, although his “talking therapies” and work on the subconscious have laid the foundations for what is understood about Psychology today.

psychology 102 – MID-LIFE CRISIS – An incredibly popular belief, a self-fulfilling prophecy, and totally without scientific foundation. Contrary to those beliefs, most people know who they are and what they want and are at their happiest knowing how to navigate life to the fullest. (It was at this point, last semester, when Mr. Smug sat next to me and said “I TOLD YOU SO”).

psychology 121 – INSANITY PLEA – Has been used as an attempt to Get Out of Jail Free, and not only in the movies. It is rarely successful since the “acting crazy” is no longer sufficient in the courtroom, proving that you were insane at the time of the offence, is a whole different ball game. To qualify as “sane” a person just need to understand what is going on around them.

The list could go on. The more I learn, the more I learn I don’t know. And that’s what makes it so fascinating. The opportunities ahead are almost limitless. In short, I came to understand why people do what they do. I don’t know where I placed myself on that list of people, but I’ve found myself right at number one.

psychology 6No, I won’t be analysing everyone I meet, and I won’t suddenly develop the ability to read peoples’ minds. What I am doing is understanding myself a little more, and in turn, developing a little more empathy along the way. I guess I am becoming less judgemental and it allows me to see things the way other people see them. I hope this puts me in a better position, later on, to make a difference
in people’s lives.
I’m not selling you psychology here, I’m trying to sell you the idea of trying something new. Open a whole new set of doors for yourself and others.

psychology 2Have you experienced an epiphany moment?

Do you have any stories about major changes you have made in your lives?

What advice can you give to someone who is about to take that step?

Have your say.