Reflections on the first 2 years of studying psychology

By Judi Luxmoore

I have just finished the second year of my degree and it is overwhelming to think about how much knowledge I have gained, and how much I have grown as a person. I have worked hard, partied hard and also had time to be lazy, as us students are known to be.

When I was first thinking about where to study, I didn’t know much about the University of Sussex, but I came to visit some friends who were already here, and I remember having such an amazing couple of days that I fell in love with Brighton, and decided to come to an Open Day. The course sold it to me immediately because I liked the wide range of the topics offered, and how students had a huge array of modules to choose from in the 3rd year. But mainly, I loved how you could pick elective modules each year alongside the degree. This gave me the opportunity to learn Spanish, the psychology of Forensic Analysis and Investigation, and Advertisement. As a result, I put Sussex as my first choice when applying.

Freshers year was one of the best years of my life! Coming to uni can be very scary for a lot of people, but first year is all about getting everybody up to the same level and settling us in to the course, giving you enough space to enjoy the year and party hard! The Student Union organised numerous events, making it easy to meet loads of people. The course itself was fantastic. You learn a wide range of topics, from psychobiology to developmental psychology, everything being so interesting that you’ll make your friends and family bored of hearing you constantly saying “Did you know that…?”Judi

Having a campus that is situated in the South Downs means we are surrounded by beautiful greenery, making the campus a wonderful place to live during your first year. Not only that, but a short bus ride in to Brighton and you have the beach, and the quirky, vibrant shops and lanes that Brighton is famous for. What more can you want?!

The second year of the degree was very different. You have gotten to the stage where you feel at home at the university and gained knowledge into all the basics, and this is where you get down to business! This year is a lot harder, but also more exciting, because you’ve had so much practice in writing lab reports and essays that you feel like you can conquer the world! With this school being one of the largest in the UK for psychology it can sometimes feel like you are a small fish in the ocean, but the staff are so helpful and caring to every student that you can get support from many different places, and somehow feel part of a community.

In the 3rd year you design your own course by picking what you enjoy the most from a huge list of modules, and decide what project you want to do for your dissertation. I cannot wait for this year to come because I know I’ll be gaining specialised knowledge into the stuff I am most fascinated with!

Judi has already chosen the modules that she will be studying next academic year: psychology of appetite, self-regulation: the science of achieving your goals, clinical psychology, and economic and consumer psychology. For her dissertation project, she will be working with Prof Pete Harris in Health Psychology, particularly focusing on self-affirmation theory. 

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