Feeling Positive

After receiving my results for Semester 1 a few weeks ago I guess I can officially claim that “I am an Arts student”! This semester I will be going down to three (from the normal four) subjects in order to be able to work and study at the same time. I am trying my best to fit in working as a veterinarian in private practice and with the final year veterinary students in the university teaching hospital in Werribee (somewhat of a logistical and sometimes stressful challenge). It feels like I haven’t had a holiday but I am not complaining! I am grateful to feel so interested in what I am learning every day and to be working with such welcoming and knowledgeable veterinary teams, until I fall in a tired heap that is. 😉

I just wanted to mention a subject that has completely changed my outlook on life and future career since March 2019 – Wellbeing, Motivation and Performance (WMP). This is a first year Positive Psychology subject from the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and is available as a Breadth subject.  After falling in love with the semester plan in the first lecture (whole weeks dedicated to topics such as Gratitude, Motivation, Resilience and Emotions!) I spoke to my lecturer Rachel Colla to see how I could find out more or get involved. I had heard whispers about Positive Psychology in the veterinary profession as a tool to combat mental health but didn’t know much else.

Rachel let me know that the 2019 World Congress for Positive Psychology (WCPP) happened to be in Melbourne in July. Of all the places in the world the biennial international Positive Psychology conference happened to be in my home city (if that is not a sign I am heading in the right direction, what is?) and that a bunch of international positive psychology superstars would be descending on my home town in the semester break. I signed up to be a volunteer and that’s how I came to spend all my waking hours from July 18-July 21 surrounded by all things positive. I was lucky to meet so many brilliant and engaging people from a multitude of different backgrounds but above all it was inspiring to see how the people who have taken risks with their careers are now the ones doing the work they love in their own self-created jobs.

I am so grateful to both Rachel Colla and Sue Salamito (my WMP tutor) for encouraging my involvement and being so generous with their knowledge. The fantastic WMP team has been incredibly welcoming and supportive and I hope to use my knowledge from Positive Psych not only in my future work but in the way that I live every day.

I guess the underlying theme here is don’t be afraid to talk to people about your interests – there are so many individuals and groups at this university who want to help you and support you but they can’t do this unless you show them you are interested and willing to have a go. Just ask.

The funny thing is, the main reason I came back to university was to study philosophy and I haven’t taken a single philosophy subject yet. So far Positive Psychology, Sociology, Spanish and Gender Studies are keeping me on my toes and I am excited to continue finding out about the other things I never even knew existed before starting a Bachelor of Arts. Vamos!


One Response to “Feeling Positive”

  1. Ariana says:

    How fantastic! Good on you for speaking up – and taking the opportunity to immerse yourself in your new interest area. If you could share one tip you learnt at the conference or in your subject, what would it be?

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