I am incredibly grateful to be awarded the Alan B Milne Memorial Prize for best undergraduate thesis in psychology. When considering the challenge of working on a thesis project under the unusual conditions of last year it feels particularly special to receive this price.
Regardless of the challenging circumstances of last year I really appreciated the opportunity to work on my very own thesis project. What made working on this project special for me was the feeling of true agency and ownership that comes with developing your very own idea and pursuing it. This helped me to work through the difficult and challenging bits of my thesis project and allowed me to really enjoy the great parts. I am also profoundly thankful to the School of Psychology and my supervisor for the great advice, support, and the necessary freedom to make the most of my thesis project.
My time at the University of Aberdeen did now come to an end and I am incredibly grateful for my time here. Beyond the content of my courses and the knowledge I gained I also feel that my time here allowed me to truly develop as a person and explore my interests very freely. Especially the ability to take optional courses and the great student community allowed me to expand my horizon beyond the niche of my own field and make great friends despite the unusual circumstances in my last academic year. While I would not have thought this in first year, I really feel at home here and I am profoundly sad to leave.
My special thanks go out to the great people in the School of Psychology, all my friends, my wonderful girlfriend, and the great university societies. For all current students I really hope that the future academic year will be as normal as possible. I know how many people including myself struggled with the isolation in the pandemic and I think that much of this will subside with a hopefully much more normal next academic year.
Jirko graduated from his undergraduate degree in the summer of 2021.