The mix of feelings and expectations I have as I enter this course has already captivated my attention, and the anticipation of topics to cover is sustaining it as well. I have always felt that science is and will always be that mysterious and thought provoking arena that is full of questions and answers that lead to more questions about why things are and what may be. I suspect psychology holds true to that model as my expectations for this class has inspired feelings of excited apprehension for me.
The excitement is based upon the opportunity of discovering the fundamental composition of my personality, learning about and maybe having an opportunity to refine the motivation behind why I may behave the way I do, and learning about how this subject goes well beyond my individuality as it is applied to social groups regardless of cultural or environmental backgrounds.
The apprehension, which in all honesty may be too strong a word for this example, stems from the mild intimidation I feel when studying topics entirely new to me, somewhat like the statistics course of which I am currently enrolled. It is not that I am timid when confronting a challenge, but more along the lines of being overly concerned about the what if . For example, What if my work merits a poor grade ? Will my grade point average suffer? Will it happen with the next class? You can imagine the other frivolous questions that make their way into thought. Fortunately I am able to remind myself that these feelings I have are just feelings, and though they may be strong at times I do not have to act on them but can use them to my advantage in keeping me in check when I do, for that rare instance, become too confident.
Case in point. As the first chapter of our text points out, we are generally over-confident in our thinking. Generally that may be so, but as I review the route of this course, I can t help but feel somewhat humble in the face of what there is to learn in the following weeks. Conversely, this apprehension of delving into the unknown no way diminishes my interest and motivation to learn about something entirely new. These feelings formulate what I believe are some normal and just expectations and simple common sense makes things easier to bear. For example, this course is a lower division course, an introduction to psychology. As a student I am hardly expected to have mastered the entire ins an outs of human behavior before we even get through the first week or even the eighth week for that matter.
As for my two expectations for this course, I believe they complement one another. On one hand, as I stated above, I don t expect to become an expert of any kind on human behavior or the diverse nature of our shared lives. It would be impracticable and self-defeating if I expected to grasp this or any other complex study by merely glancing at the table of contents of the text. A somewhat unconfident position it may seem, but it is realistic and for some, reality is what grounds us.
I do, however, expect to build a foundation of a working knowledge of this subject. I cannot take every case study with me or remember the solution or impact of every exercise I encounter. However, I do anticipate that I will retain the practical bits and pieces that apply to and reinforce the other courses of my degree plan, my personal and professional interactions and maybe even shed a little light on questions I come across during self-reflection. I can then use that knowledge in everyday life to help me better understand the motivation behind the way most people think and work together. I also expect to come away from this course with more appreciation for the complexity and real life application of this discipline.