Happy New Year guys!
And Welcome to my 1st Blog-post! I’ve got a lot of things to cover in this post so I will try to make it as short as possible.
I guess what is important to start off with is that I didn’t have a clue as to what I wanted to do after college. I was a typical 16-year-old who was confused about why I had to make such big scary decisions. I am from Nigeria, and any Nigerian readers will know that most of our parents would like us to be Doctors or Lawyers. In this case, both my parents wanted me to become a doctor and didn’t understand what psychology stood for lol. I studied BTEC Health and Social Care and English, which created this desire in me to help people. I didn’t know how, but I knew that I wanted to help those who were vulnerable. And that’s why I decided to study Psychology.
Honestly speaking, I did not enjoy my first year of uni. I would like to believe that I am quite a sociable person, and so when I started Westminster university, I felt like I couldn’t fit in with other people. I wasn’t paying attention to lecturers, or my assignments. I felt like I didn’t have any friends, and because of that reason, I couldn’t get the most out of that first year. I failed three modules, which meant I had to retake ALL 3 before entering my 2nd year. At this point, I was ready to quit. Do you know how long it is to retake a module? Let alone THREE!?! Of course, I only had myself to blame – I was frustrated with life at this point and was feeling embarrassed, but I really needed this ‘retake period’ because it showed me that I lacked confidence. When I took the time to understand what I was learning, spend time with lecturers and take myself to the library and read lol, I realised that this course was so beautiful and I knew from then on that I’d made the right decision.
Once I had finished my retake year, and successfully passed 2nd year, I had the opportunity to do a placement year. I was fortunate enough to gain experience working in an acute inpatient psychiatric hospital, where I worked with a range of patients with dual diagnosis, including autism, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. This placement laid the foundation for me, and at this point, I wanted to commit myself to mental health. I was so intrigued to understand why some individuals can become severely ill, what were the triggers, and what we can do as a society to reduce the number of individuals experiencing mental health problems. I honestly believed, and still do think that if services such as CAMHS (Child and adolescent mental health service), Early Detection or relevant mental health services can detect such issues at an early stage (during adolescence or early childhood), this could ultimately save someone from becoming mentally ill. Might I just add, taking the placement year done me a world of good! I am not someone who can handle stress, especially when it came to exams. And so, having that year out of uni, away from assignments and exams, helped me to relax mentally. I felt so motivated, energetic and ready for this last hurdle. This new attitude helped because my final year was a bag of stress.
Deciding to do my masters was a ‘no-brainer’. I realised during my degree that I really wanted to further my education and stand out from the rest. I also noticed that there were hardly ANY Black clinical psychologists around, let alone any Black academics in top roles within my university. It wasn’t until my final year that I had met a clinical psychologist, who was a Black female (Nigerian also). She was so confident and knew soooo much about mental health (of course she would lol). I felt so inspired and motivated to push forward with the idea to do a Masters. I got into Kings College London to study MSc Early Interventions in Psychosis, and I was thrilled. I honestly did not expect to get in, but once I got the news, I decided to take a year out. I will explain why I chose the gap year in my next post, but it was the best decision I made.
Even though I got into Kings, graduated with a 2:1, I was still miserable, and I felt lost. I knew who I was academically, but didn’t know myself outside of that (if that makes sense). Taking the year out enabled me to find myself, learn how to love myself properly, regain my confidence back, travel and learn new things about myself. I still wasn’t 100% about doing the masters, but the gap year allowed me to see things from a different perspective.
Everything worked out the way it should have done. And I am just grateful to God that I didn’t rush the journey!
I’d be lying if I said I am not in a happy place right now. Of course, my obvious worries at this moment is to find a suitable job, try to do some volunteer work, “live life” lol, but I am confident that gods timing is the best timing, and until then, I Will Blog.