Ville

a personal blogger

Pöö pöö hyvät ystävät. It has been a while. I graduated from Leiden University with bachelor degree in psychology. After summer it feels I have forgotten everything, though I do opine I have great academic literacy if nothing else. What a road. I thought I would become a psychologist, instead I am back in Finland studying peace, mediation, and conflict research (PEACE) in Åbo Akademi University?

Indeed, my experiences in the Netherlands made me think of other possible careers than just psychology. It would have been close-minded of me if I did not. I looked at social psychology, neuroscience, clinical psychology, human-technology interaction (HTI), user-experience design, cognitive science, health studies, and various research-focused programmes, and of course the PEACE programme. There were three things I especially looked at when weighing the programmes: curriculum content, zero tuition fee, and the most important idea that would ultimately affect my decision: If I did not have to worry about money, which career would I pursue? That way I can be sure that I am doing what I find meaningful, and not only to do it because of money. Although having enough money to sustain a decent lifestyle would be nice. No denying that.

Even though I had thirty credits worth of knowledge on neuroscience, I thought that neuroscience lacked interaction with people that I sought in my future career. I could not imagine myself studying brain cells in a windowless laboratory. But the knowledge is definitely not wasted. For example, during one the introductory courses we had to read the Seville Statement, and I learned that in the 1980s people apparently thought that there is something in the human brain that makes us biologically predisposed to violence. This is false, and this is exactly where neuroscience can prove it. In other words, I wield a “neuroscience bullshit detector”.

I applied in the first application round in winter. Second round would come later in spring. I applied to the PEACE and HTI programme. I got rejected to HTI and accepted to PEACE. When I received the rejection letter, I was not upset—I guess I was not interested in HTI then after all? Huh. In contrast, getting a letter from Åbo Akademi surprised me. Happy confusion. I then decided not to apply in the spring round to clinical psychology.

What drew me in PEACE programme was its developmental psychology-focused curriculum. It was something familiar but also something new—because this time it would be taught in a niche context: peace and war. The idea of working abroad for a good cause, peace, potentially mediating conflicts is compelling. Although, as sexy as that might sound, I might actually find myself as a low-paid grunt in the field, and later a paper pusher in a bureocratic system where nothing seems to move unless you are the one with the power and money. Anyway, I believe that even the smallest contributions to society can help us ensure a better future. If 'violence breeds violence', why cannot 'peace foster peace'? And another example is that if I smile to a person, then perhaps that person will become happier and subsequently smile to someone else. You see where I am going? Small contributions. Butterfly effect. Karma.

I do not know where PEACE will take me and it should cause anxiety in me, but I see this as an interesting turn of events. While it is not as I envisioned myself five years ago, or even one year ago, I am open to what future brings.

My three-year bachelor psychology studies are nearing an end. I feel that I have learned so much about psychology and science, friendship and love, cultures and countries, myself and others. Then again, I sense that I understand nothing and how much there is still to discover. I would say that the three years have taught me what life can be—that of what you want and make of it.

Read more...

Almost three years has passed since I started studying psychology in Leiden University. I started this blog too around then. Yet, I have not blogged nearly enough about my undergraduate studies, life in Holland, my thoughts on Leiden University and psychology, and so on. In this post, I tell all what comes to mind.

Read more...

I am making important life decisions: golden delicious, royal gala, fuji, or jonagold—or “just” a banana? This is an apples to oranges comparison because apples have statistically a better advantage: there are more types of apples than there are types of bananas in a normal Western grocery store. Yet the alphabet of apples grapple against a single banana not even a royal gala stands a chance in my stance. Banana is the king of the fruits.

Read more...

I have lived in the Netherlands for two years now. I am ashamed to admit that I still don't know how to say anything more than my name. I even probably pronounce it wrong. “My name is” part I mean. Of course I know how to say my own name you bird-brain. On an another thought, I am the bird-brain, like the one in the picture.

Read more...

In the summer of 2018, scammers, hucksters and bot spammers roamed Facebook housing groups. Many people expressed their desperation and even anger over housing matters. People's plans were getting squashed. And the situation has not gotten better. The housing situation in the Netherlands is tough, no doubt.

Read more...

Imagine a Venn diagram of sunny weather, weekend, and summer vacation. A tiny intersection is all that is left. That tiny spot is where I should make the most of my summer vacation. But what should I do in those days?

I then saw the three circles crossing on the horizon. It was all coming together. I needed to act quick. And without hesitation, I seized the opportunity and decided to cycle around Åland.

Read more...

I was five or maybe six-years-old when I begun to understand what money means. First we had Finnish markka and Estonian kroons. Then we had euros and kroons, and later only euros. I remember as a little kid thinking myself why the world does not have money that everybody would use: a global money. Well now there is. It is called Bitcoin.

Read more...

Olin viisi- tai ehkä kuusivuotias kun aloin ymmärtää, mitä raha tarkoittaa. Meidän perheessämme liikkui ensin markkoja ja krooneja, sitten euroja ja krooneja, ja myöhemmin vain euroja. Muistan, kun joskus pienenä mietin itsekseni, miksi maailmassa ei ole rahaa, jota kaikki ihmiset käyttäisivät: maailmanlaajuinen raha. No nyt on. Sen nimi on Bitcoin.

Read more...

As a habitual redditor, I follow the memes and schemes of the world. I've seen things some of you wouldn't believe. A day ago, I watched how a black man was choked to death coldblooded by a “police officer”. His name was George Floyd. His death and its aftermath is all over the news. This time the matter will not fade like tears in the rain. Time for justice.

Read more...