Name: Alexandra Card
Course: Psychology BSc
Year: First year
Why did you choose your subject/course?:
Rewind to when I was in high school and approaching year 11, I had never heard of psychology or never thought of it as my future. For a long time my plan had been to become an actress. I even went to a Saturday theatre school but I realised I had neither the ambition nor confidence to make it in that profession. So when it came time to choose subjects to study in A levels I discovered psychology as a subject. I studied psychology for a term at A level before I left 6th form due to ill health. During that time I was fascinated by it. The part we studied the most during the term I was there was memory and I loved finding out all the experiments that had been done and that could be done by us to show how the memory works.
When I left 6th form I believed that my dream of working in psychology was over. There is not a possibility to be a chartered psychologist without going to university and at the time I had no qualifications to get into university. I started (and completed) a diploma in event planning but it only made me miss psychology more so I realised I had to get back into education and get myself to university.
Why did you choose Staffordshire University?:
This answer is going to sound really twee but it is the absolute truth. Over the course of two years I looked at 7 universities around the country. The first ever open day that I went to was Staffordshire University. That set the standard high for the others and some of them were really good and almost changed my mind on where to go. For one reason or another I decided to come to another open day at Staffordshire University and when I arrived at the open day, it felt like I had come home. I pictured myself living and working here more so than any of the other universities.
When I started looking at universities, everyone would say, ‘when you go to the open day you will feel whether it is the right place’. I did not understand what they meant and thought I would need reasoned debate to work out which one to go to. However, they were right. Honestly, you can look at league tables and statistics and look through the course content as much as you like (I still do recommend you look at these for more information) but nothing is more accurate than your gut instinct. As soon as I came to Staffordshire University, I knew it was the one. This was confirmed to me when I attended a different open day at another university and as soon as I got out of the car it felt wrong. My dad had driven over 180 miles so I went to all the talks and on the tours but that first instinct had been right and it was not the place for me.
What do you hope to do when you graduate?:
This is a subject that is currently under debate for me. The first Staffordshire University open day that I did (I did three) I was going to apply for the Forensic Psychology course, wanting to become a psychologist in a prison. The second open day I was going to apply for the Clinical Psychology course. After that it was suggested to me that sticking to the straight psychology course would be a good option as I can specialise in a masters programme later. All I know for sure at the moment is that I want to go on to do a masters and PhD so that I can become a chartered psychologist. I would like to go into research in psychology and I have a few ideas but I am not sure yet.
One piece of advice you would give prospective University students:
The piece of information I would give is when you attend the open days (and please do attend open days) try to imagine yourself living and working there. If you are having trouble imagining yourself living in the accommodation or studying in the lecture theatres, then possibly it is not the place for you. When I took a tour around the accommodation at Staffordshire University I could imagine myself in there and had almost got every detail planned out in my head. You don’t need to go that far but you need to try to imagine yourself there. I had the same feeling in the lecture theatres and facility labs and could see myself studying and experimenting in there. (This piece of advice is generalised and may not apply to absolutely everyone.)
An interesting fact about you:
I always get to this type of section and never know what to put and come to the conclusion I am a totally uninteresting person. Then I finish it and 10 minutes later I think of about a hundred interesting things. Well something that very few people know or would guess about me (although far more know since I have had to use it in icebreaker activities when I have nothing else to say) is that when I was younger I was a competitive swimmer. I used to complete for my local swimming club across the county and sometimes further. At the time I was a slightly unusual competitor in the fact that my best, and favourite, stroke was butterfly. I loved doing this stroke when others hated it but I think it must have been in the genes as my brother also loved it.
Most treasured possession:
I don’t really have one thing that I hold onto more than anything, although I am a hoarder in general. I would say generally my most treasured possessions are photos. I love looking back at things that have happened in the past and remembering happy times. There is an album somewhere of pictures from one of my early birthdays (about 4 or 5) when I had a fancy dress party and all my family got involved. Looking back at the photos is a hilarious pastime.
Favourite TV series/ Film/book:
Well I am going to find it hard to pick a favourite TV series because I like so many. My kind of genre is American crime drama and I would say that currently my favourite is CSI: New York. I do enjoy the forensics of it as well as the interactions between the characters. However, CSI: Cyber is going to hit UK TV screens next week so everything could change.
My favourite film has to be one of the Harry Potter series as I am the biggest Harry Potter fan ever! Even now, 5 years after the last film was released and years after the final book was published, I still love it as much as the first time I heard about it. It is such a timeless series which can appeal to the young and old alike and will never go out of style. Picking one is difficult but I would probably say it is Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince as I love the interaction between Harry and Dumbledore and the Harry-Ginny love story.
Finally my favourite book will also have of be one of the Harry Potter books which I would say is the final book. It is a marathon to read it but there is so much action and intrigue as well as lots of emotional involvement and of course no one can resist the ending of good triumphing over evil.