Please tell us more about yourself.
My name is Yeseul, and I am majoring in Psychology, and Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources. At school, you might see me at the psychology lab working as a research assistant. Or, you might also see me at various events organised by SOSCIETY as I am currently a Professional Development & Academic Co-Director. When I am not studying or working, I spend most of my time on YouTube (mainly watching videos of baby animals, K-pop, and Teens React).
How has learning about Social Sciences changed/benefited you?
Studying social sciences completely changed the way I see the world. From sociology, I have learnt that some things we accept to be natural (such as race or gender) might have been socially constructed. The idea of social construction really blew my mind and helped me think more critically about social issues. Psychology, and especially abnormal psychology, has made me see the struggles of people coping with mental disorders. I am now more aware of these illnesses such as depression and schizophrenia, and have learnt to be more sympathetic towards them. On the other hand, political science has deepened my knowledge and understanding of politics. It motivates me to pay attention to our current affairs, sometimes to the point where I will pick up a free copy of the International New York Times at our school to read. I may not understand everything that is written on the newspaper but hey, at least I am trying!
What do you think of the SMU pedagogy?
From primary school till junior college, learning was mainly about staying quiet in classes, memorising what was written on textbooks, and regurgitating all I remembered during examinations. It was simple but boring. So when I was considering which university to go to, I chose SMU primarily for its seminar-style teaching and I am happy that I did. Never in my life have I enjoyed the process of learning (I know I sound like a nerd but I mean it)! I would be lying if I say I am 100% comfortable with speaking up in classes because it can be really daunting at times. However, after a couple of years of training in SMU, I have learnt to overcome my fear of public speaking and have since participated more in class discussions. With SMU pedagogy, learning is no longer passive or one-way. Instead, it is more active and intellectually challenging.
What are your plans and goals for the future?
I do not have specific plans and goals for the future yet. My interest in mental health grew after taking the Abnormal Psychology module last semester. But after my trip to Austria, I became interested in urban planning as well. I was fascinated by how walkable and cyclable the cities were in Austria compared to Singapore. With two more years of undergraduate studies at SMU, I believe I will continue to discover new interests as I intend to take more classes outside of my major. So, I am trying not to get too fixated on my major and instead continuously explore new areas of interest and keep my options open.
Do you have any advice for prospective students who are considering SOSS, SMU?
Wherever you decide to go for university, keep an open mind. Interact with people from different backgrounds, take classes to learn something you have always wanted to explore, or go on an exchange to broaden your perspective. You don't have to make drastic changes in your life but just open yourself to new ideas and opportunities offered in university. Take small steps out of your comfort zone, and all those experiences will add up and help you grow.
Last updated on 13 Sep 2017 .