Interview with Manaswita Das – Learning from the learner. Manaswita is a college student who has happily shared with us her journey so far.

  • Tell us a little about yourself.
Manaswita Das

Hello. I am Manaswita Das. I am from Assam and have stayed in different places for most of my life. I have enjoyed staying in Goa for more than a decade. I have also been fortunate to live in Gujarat and understand the culture there. The idea of moving to a new place thrills me.

I am an art student and a psychology graduate from Indraprastha College for Women, Delhi University. I recently got admission to Delhi University, North Campus for MA psychology. I am also a classically trained Bharatnatyam dancer. I love listening to classical music, reading motivational and inspirational books, trying to update every day about psychology information, research, and increasing my knowledge about psychology. I believe in empathy and kindness and try to improve in these two aspects and be a better listener.

  • What motivated you to pursue Psychology?

I have always been fascinated by human behavior and this further intrigued me to know more about the field of psychology. School years helped me connect with this subject. The different theories, concepts, instances caught my attention. The entire idea of learning about different personalities, emotions, human behavior was something that kept me obsessed with this field. I realised this was my subject! I had the passion to pursue it and gradually see myself as a successful psychology professional.

  • According to you, what will help you stay motivated until you reach your goals? 

My dedication and passion towards the subject are what keep me motivated throughout. Of course, there have been days where I have felt extremely hopeless and confused. The lockdown certainly bothered my mental health too I had to push myself to stay focused – take a break – and come back stronger. My future and success to come pull me up each time and get me going. Even during the not so good days, my family and friends have proven to be a strong support system. There are days when I am completely drained. I ensure I take enough breaks to keep me charged. They help me come back with more, fresh energy.

  • Has the pandemic impacted your studies in any manner?
  • The anxiety and loneliness had started to creep in. Due to pandemic, there was fear as well. With so many changes, it was very difficult to pay attention, stay focused and complete the assignments. I experienced huge amount of anxiety during this phase of lockdown. There were unwanted thoughts clouding my mind each time. I took professional help from a therapist to get rid of my anxiety and lead a more peaceful life. I used to experience a lot of burnout and fatigue with online classes. There were numerous assignments and practicals that required regular submissions. I was mentally drained with constantly staying home, not getting enough human interaction and the pressure to stay focused. I would feel clogged up.

    • Are you interning under someone or providing voluntary services?

    I am currently not interning anywhere. Next year, I will be interning or acquiring training.

    • What are some of the challenges you have dealt with?

    One of my prime challenges has been the inability to ask my doubts or seek clarifications from the seniors or the professors. This probably could be the result of my overthinking behavior. I don’t fear asking it online, but offline, I have little fear and get self-conscious. After joining college and learning to understand what it is like to be responsible, I had to challenge my fear and push myself to speak for myself when required. I must be independent. Also, because of my short height, I have had a lot of challenges but tried to overcome them myself as much as possible and I have always found help whenever needed. *touchwood*. 

    • What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage it?

    I think my greatest fear is loneliness and separation from friends. I have been lonely in the past and it’s a horrible feeling. I honestly don’t like that feeling.

    With time I have gained a lot of knowledge and understanding about the subject. My exposure has helped me gain confidence about myself and my decision to pursue psychology. I have also learnt that people who matter to you a vice versa will always stick around. They will never leave you. Though sometimes enjoying my own company is also a great feeling. It helps me rejuvenate and fall in love with myself. It gives me a better sense of control and calmness within me.

    • What piece of advice would you give to students who are aiming to take up Psychology?

    My piece of advice will be that first, learn to respect and love the subject. Every subject has a meaning and purpose in our life. You all still have time to decipher what to do in future. But if you are unable to learn to enjoy the subject, the present moments, the beautiful knowledge that you are grabbing every day, you will miss it deeply in the future and there is no going back from there. Enjoy your present moment. Things will unfold naturally.

    • In your view, are there enough opportunities for students to learn practical work before they take up a full-time job?

    Unfortunately, not too many. It’s slowly and gradually growing but it will require more time. The sad scenario is such that there are no paid internships. Rather, we interns need to pay a huge amount to be trained by specialists. It quite often gets difficult to bear the expenses while we are still studying. We do not necessarily get a hands-on experience. Sometimes it is just a quick brushing up of theories and no concrete case studies. One must consider the profile and experience of the professional before they sign up for their internship program. The kind of expertise they excel in also greatly impacts your internship learning.

    With the growing number of psychologists and therapist, I am certain there will be more opportunities for the college students to learn and explore.

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