I was never one to excel academically. At school, during my undergraduate degree, even in the workplace, I always felt that my dyslexia held me back (I’m dyslexic, by the by). However, my MSc in Psychological Studies taught me that I am capable. My perception of my dyslexia then changed; it is a hindrance, not a full stop. The School of Psychology faculty at UoA did an excellent job of providing genuinely useful feedback that helped me find a learning style that worked for me. Thus, I was able to acquire the skills I needed to approach academic writing and research.
My venture into MRes study was an opportunity to hone these skills and focus more on the nitty-gritty of research in the field of psychology (e.g., software training, advanced methodology, etc). Though I’ve only been a student at UoA for 2 years, I feel that I have progressed more academically and learnt more about myself in that time, than I have in all my previous years combined. Needless to say, I am thrilled to have received recognition for my academic achievements. Winning the Anderson Prize is, for me, a reminder, proof that I am capable, that my dyslexia is not a full stop, and reassurance that I am on the right track. I have just begun a PhD at UoA, after which I plan to pursue a career in research focused on autism. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the staff at the School of Psychology, you have all been so encouraging and taught me so much, thank you.
Matthew Johnson was an MRes student during 2019/20 and began his PhD studies in the School of Psychology in October 2020.