Hi There! I am Fatema Hasan, a second-year Psychology SL Pamoja student. As my 2 years with Pamoja are coming to an end, I wanted to reflect back and share with you guys the major lessons I learned through studying Psychology online and how will those lessons help me with life-after-school.

Lesson 1: Self-discovery can be found in the unfamiliar

My experience with Pamoja was my first experience with online learning too, as probably is the case for most of you guys.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of texting, which is the main communication tool you would need to use to talk with your teachers and classmates in Pamoja. Hence, the new learning environment was very foreign to me back then.

However, because online learning was unfamiliar to me, I didn’t have any specific assumptions or expectation of how I should act upon this new experience, especially as nobody knew me there.

Due to this unique, quite freeing situation, I felt I could express myself more freely. In the discussion forums provided by the course, I would share opinions that I don’t bother sharing in reality because I assume people around me are uninterested about them.

This blog right here is the biggest example. I always enjoyed writing but I never thought I’d have the guts to reach out for other people and ask them to share my writings. Here we are after 2 years!

To me, I would never have discovered these aspects of my personality and what I am capable of if it wasn’t for being placed in a new, unfamiliar environment.

I think this lesson is very helpful for my life-after-school because I am more able to embrace new challenges and explore unusual situations, which is what life after school is all about.

This is because I now understand the personal benefits of doing so. New situations will keep frightening me and filling me with doubt, not gonna lie, but I am a bit more determined to face them because of what personal insights they might bring.

Lesson 2: You shape your experiences

While studying online, you have the greatest flexibility on how your studying schedule should look like. You are the one who decides if you want to dig deeper into a topic just out of curiosity or if you want to just get things done.

For me, I did both. Lesson learnt? You can make a topic interesting for you regardless of what it is. I found that the more I read about a specific psychological model or theory, the more interesting studying it becomes and vice versa.

For example, I am someone who quite enjoys researching and writing research (yes, this does mean I enjoyed doing EE! Yes, we exist!). This also would mean that I would enjoy doing my psyche IA as well, especially that the study I was replicating was interesting (Loftus and Palmer tribe!).

Turns out, surprisingly, I never actually enjoyed doing it! I think this has happened because I was in such a rush to just get it out of my to-do-list. I didn’t give myself the time to deeply explore the study I am looking at or thinking of new ways to improve my methodology. Thus, I didn’t really enjoy it.

I think what is helpful about this lesson in preparing me for life-after-school is that it is giving me the reassurance that regardless of what life would throw at me, I can shape my experience through how I respond.

This also means that I should be proactive to achieve what I want. If I want my life at university to be interesting, I need to put the effort and time for it to be so.

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