Studying psychology, week 2: it’s really happening

This is the week our regular schedule of lectures and seminars starts. In the end, we only end up having around 60% of our planned events due to some profs being sick. To be frank, I’m still trying to figure out how all of this works, so I’m not ungrateful for the slow start. And I still can’t believe that this is what I do now.

Our grades will be made up of academic achievements throughout the semester (attendance and contributions in class, presentations) and test performance (exams at the end of one or two semesters). Our professors hand out the first assignments. I sign up for as much as I can and as early as I can, to get them out of the way before our exam period starts.

Reading Freud on morality

My first short presentation is taking place next week already, and to prepare, I read Freud for the first time in my life. The presentation is on his essay “‘Civilised’ Sexual Morality and Modern Nervous Illness” (original text in German; Wikipedia summary). One of his central claims is that “civilised” morals imposed through society or church are limiting people in an attempt to protect the culture and society overall. Instead, they actually end up harming it because the limitations are damaging people, causing mental health issues, and therefore harming society overall.

Figuring out schedules and uni life

Free rooms in shared houses are the hot topic among my classmates (and will be for a while). Many of them just moved here and are struggling to find housing in the tight Berlin housing market.

I’m still reviewing my schedule, we still have one week to make changes. I signed up for all classes before uni started, and am sticking to the recommended course of study. This should get me to complete my degree in the default time.

I’m grappling a bit with the tight and very hierarchical university system. Everyone is open to conversation and friendly, but the structures are very tight, and I feel a bit lost in it. I wonder if this is going to be one of the bigger challenges of this endeavour: after so many years working in the workplace, navigating academia feels like entering an entirely new world.

By Lena

Engineering executive turned leadership coach & consultant, public speaker, and psychology student. Fast walker, avid reader, poetry fan, violinist, pianist in the making, and intersectional feminist. Writes about all the above (and, occasionally, trees).

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