Master Plan

13 Nov

What will happen with me after my college education? The future looks like a black hole which engulfs many seniors. Will I be engulfed by that black whole, too? The anxiety is a normal psychological response which I accept with stoicism. The reason is that the transitional periods during the lifespan are great opportunity to get to know myself better and explore new horizons; therefore I do not worry that much. I have a master plan.

I started to think about possibilities after graduating from RA a year ago. Consequently, I am now able to regulate to a certain extent the anxiety level which might cause serious unhealthy stress. The unhealthy stress may lead to a lot of problems linked to various domains of my academic, family, career and social life.

In order to avoid unhealthy stress, I began a process of self-knowledge last winter break. Through introspection, I highlighted the things I like to do and would like to do during my master program and future career. I like reading books, journals or weblogs and watching movies about diverse psychological and cultural phenomena. The information, I receive from many sources, is fractured through my critical lenses. I generally appreciate other perspectives and opinions, but I am careful not to conform blindly to somebody’s ideas. To avoid conformity, I prefer doing research and analyzing concrete variables. As a result, I can negotiate and give advices. Last, but not least I appreciate the opportunities when my efforts lead to even small changes in the society. For example, my group project about Coaches Competences and Quality of Life of Their Clients, whose abstract was published in Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, helped an organization which works with people with intellectual disabilities. Moreover, I learned how to do  applied research which was in cooperation with other students and an organization.

Due to the interaction with other people at RA, on campus, at work or in different locations, I had the chance to get to know my interests, develop skills and entertain myself. The interactions were important for me to develop a concrete self-image distinct from the others. In the future I will also appreciate every singe formal or informal contact and encounter.

Having a concrete self-image is important when I began looking for master programs. Last year I browsed the Internet for Psychology research master programs in the Netherlands. I picked up Psychology because it was the first field that grabbed my attention at RA. I was curious how to observe, explain and predict behavior considering literature review and applied research. I liked the fact that I was involved in an application of the theory. I did the aforementioned group project Coaches Competences and Quality of Life of Their Clients in my third semester. Furthermore, I did an individual social – influence project with a flyer on how to decrease littering and dirty dishes on campus. In my forth semester I did one month internship and a group project on Quality of Life in a Mental Health Organization. As a consequence I realized that projects demand a lot of time management, negotiations, arrangements, evaluations and critical feedbacks. Due to my Psychology projects, I learned to create models and derive theoretical framework of behavior and competences.

However, the world is too complex to be fit in a model although it may have a good logic and application. Because RA offers liberal arts and science program, I learned to question different models which aim to explain phenomena. Disciplines such as Anthropology, Sociology, Cultural Studies and Global Studies helped me realize that there might be many different interpretations and reasons for processes in the society. In those courses I learned to work with concepts and their relevance for establishing similarities and differences between socio-cultural processes. Consequently, I gained analytical skills which will be useful in my future career. Therefore, I think to explore research master programs linked to the aforementioned disciplines.

My exploration so far is summarized in an Excel file which collects information of research master programs mostly in psychology in the Netherlands. I have systematized the information I browsed through according to institutions, admission requirements, deadlines, tuition fees, scholarships and financing, housing, social life and career opportunities. From that file I made a list with the aspects I like and do not like in a certain program. Furthermore, I consulted a psychology professor at RA, so I was able to narrow down my choices. In addition, I had a change to visit one institution and discover that the program they offered was not as fascinating as it was presented in their webpage. Unfortunately, I have not contacted that many alumni, students or instructors who can provide me with a local knowledge about a certain master program, but I am thinking on doing that soon.

My choices of master program are not completely finalized. I continue exploring and collecting ideas about a concise letter of motivation. Thus, I started the searching process more than a year before I finish my bachelor degree. After spending enough time to get to know myself, I am confident to look for a research master program which will suit my interests, skills and experience. Moreover, I would like the research master to involve me in an environment with active members who will keep my enthusiasm and motivation or guide me whenever I need help. It is of importance to be part of such community because I can also contribute for the diversity by giving my criticism, support and positive attitude. In addition, I am considering a program which will not limit my opportunities in the future because I am not certainly interested only in one discipline therefore a multidisciplinary research programs are placed at the beginning of my university list.

My university list is based on research which started earlier. Therefore I think I will not be engulfed by the black whole. I hope that my efforts will lead to a successful admission and satisfactory future career.

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One Response to “Master Plan”

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  1. Master Plan: Accomplished « WordPuzzle - 29.09.2011

    […] about my future. Actually I was not sucked into any black whole or whatsoever. Lucky me! I had a master plan after all. […]

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