One thing that my work does that I really love, is that we get two days a year where they will approve Volunteer Leave for us. Which means that we can go out, find a community organisation or cause that interests us, and spend a day there on a project, and our work pays us to do this! So it’s Volunteering but with no real sacrifice on our part. Over the years I have volunteered in many different ways – a day doing data entry for the Altona Historical Society, a day packing condoms and information into little kits for Victorian AIDS Council, a day making up food packages for Vic Relief to send to those in need. I have written letters to primary school students for the last three years as part of Ardoch’s Literacy Buddy program. Anyway, these are just some examples.
I have friends who are qualified Psychologists who, in my eyes, are helping people every single day, and sometimes I feel jealous of them. I’ve been working at the Bank for so long, and sometimes I get great job satisfaction, but at the end of the day I don’t come home knowing that anyone has been helped by what I do. There is also the pretty obvious fact that I am just not qualified to really make a difference in the world, apart from the volunteer stuff that I try to get behind.
So? I decided that I would complete a Psychology degree, which is a huge big deal for me! Very exciting, very scary, and very much throwing myself into the unknown. Can I even do this? Well, only one way to find out. We’re not talking major sudden career change here, this will take years, and may just mean my volunteer work expands whether I remain at the Bank or not. I do know that I want to try.
Just yesterday I handed in my second assignment for my first subject. It is Introduction to Psychology 1, and I am studying through Swinburne University of Technology, fully online via Open Universities. How am I doing so far? Well, this is week 9 or 10, the exam is on August 30th, so I am a fair way into this subject! Some weeks have been harder than others (memorising the anatomy of the brain and senses is much more difficult than things you can apply common sense to, such as personality and motivation). The assignment was on an interesting topic – linking sleep duration to cognitive functioning and satisfaction with life (ie, not enough sleep and you make mistakes in tests) – it is actually writing technically and formally that I have struggled with most in this introductory subject.
Now to get cracking on the rest of my study so I can knock this subject over! Next subject I need to do is statistics, which will be very dry. Then after that Introduction to Pscychology 2, which follows on from the subject I’m now doing. If I can manage a Credit average on these three subjects I can apply to enter the course Bachelor of Behavioural Studies (Pscyhology) and will be on my way to qualifications and being smarter!
I’ll let you know how I’m going …