I’m going to be a psycholinguist!


The goal of this post is threefold; first, to practice my English writing skills; second, to tell you about a major life decision I made this week; and third, because writing a blog in English was also one of my resolutions.

So guess what: I quit studying physics. But that sounds a bit negative, let me rephrase. I found the master of my dreams. It’s called Cognitive Neuroscience and had four specialisations, including Language and Communication. It all really fits with me and my ideals: it’s at my own university (I just started living together here, so I love spending time at home and don’t want to move anytime soon), it’s a research master and I have acces to it with my bachelor degree in physics. It combines lot’s of things that interest me: cognitive psychology, linguistics and, well, the human brain.

I love learning and I always have. Sometimes, in pondering what my ‘passion’ might be, I thought it might just be learning new things, if that’s even a legitimate passion. I guess it is if I want it to be. But what’s more: I also like learning about learning. I read blogs on how to learn new habits. I often think about the most efficient way to learn stuff, whether it’s a mathematical technique I have to know for university or a new move at my dancing class. In this programme, I will actually be able to take courses like ‘psychology of learning’ and ‘language and the brain’.

It may seem a bit rash to quit your study before you even know if you’re admitted at the next one, but that’s what I did and it feels good. After deciding to quit physics I felt so relieved and happy. Happy because I had found something I actually wanted to know, and relieved because I didn’t have to struggle on with physics. The actual physics wasn’t really a problem for me, but motivating myself to study something I wasn’t interested in was getting harder every week. Now that I’ve found a master I’m so passionate and enthusiastic about, I’m quite sure I don’t want to study physics anymore. Not even if I don’t get admitted into Cognitive Neuroscience.

So this is an exciting time for me. I dropped all my physics courses and will start with two extra linguistics courses next week – even though I allready missed the first 6 weeks. I’m also starting the procedure to get admitted into the Cognitive Neuroscience master. I have to make a resumé (in English) and write a motivation letter (also in English). Luckily, I have excellent grades to back me up. When I went to the administration office to get an authorized version of my grade list, I found out I have obtained my physics bachelor summa cum laude. So I guess all the hard work and perfectionism wasn’t for nothing after all.

I must say that writing in English is more difficult than I expected, so I might do this again a couple of times. I have been reading in English since primary school (Hello You, does anyone else remember?), but reading is passive and therefor a lot easier than writing/speaking. I also started on my motivation letter today, but got a little bit stuck with the english, that’s why I decided to blog in English about it first: it has no pressure. Anyway, I’ll keep you updated on the whole switching masters thing here.

PS. Correction to my English are welcome! I’ve allready found someone willing to check my motivation letter + resumé, but corrections to this blog are also helpfull.



  1. Whoehh, Elise, wat indrukwekkend en wat leuk! En gefeliciteerd met je summa cum laude, petje af! Ook niks mis met je Engels hoor, het leest lekker weg! Het is ook eeecht een interessante master, ben verder helemaal niet bevooroordeeld.

    Als je wilt wil ik ook nog wel naar je cv en brief kijken, of als je nog iets wilt weten over het interview wat daarna komt. Laat je het me weten als je specifieke vragen hebt over cursussen oid, zodat ik eventueel nog iets op kan zoeken of mee kan nemen?

    • ja, ik hoopte al dat je even naar mijn brief wil kijken :) verder heb ik over de vakken niet echt vragen, ik heb de studiegids gewoon helemaal doorgelezen. Ik ben natuurlijk wel benieuwd hoe zo’n gesprek gaat enzo.

  2. Hey Elise, superleuk! vind het zo ontzettend stoer dat je deze stap gewoon hebt genomen! Als je nog een keer wilt oefenen mag je wel een gastblogje voor me schrijven hoor ;) Als je daar zin in hebt tenminste!

  3. I do remember Hello You, come to think about it… But my main motivation to learn English was the utterly lovely teacher I got in high school! Anyway: congratulations! :D I’m really happy for you!
    Since you asked: already is spelled with 1 l :)

    P.S. I do not think ‘I quit studying physics’ is a negative sentence. It’s just basic to me, the explanation changes it into something positive or negative.
    P.S.2: My goodness, summa cum laude. Congratulations on the hard work again :)

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