The world needs more people like Anine Hollander. Insatiably inquisitive, she has experimented with a diverse range of guises. She’s not afraid to try new things and is the first to admit that she is still evolving.
Even a quick catchup with Anine leaves you with a sense that she has an enviably mature worldview. Here’s a girl who at just 25 years of age seems so knee deep in life that she can identify who she truly is – and so thoroughly.
Anine completed her Bachelor of Applied Social Science online through SACAP in May and has been selected to pursue her honours. She will begin SACAP’s BPsych Equivalent Programme in February next year.
We’re curious. Why psychology? Why SACAP? And what informed her decision to study online? Most importantly, is she glad she did? And where, ultimately, does she hope her qualifications will take her?
So, we asked her. This is what she has to say…
Anine is driven by an innate passion for growth – in herself and in others – she tells us when we meet. “It’s not a linear process, like say, how to make B become A. I am not a one-dimensional person and prefer to view the world from a different perspective: we are here, and we are improving,” she says.
It’s clear from our conversation that Anine doesn’t like rigidity. The eldest of three home-schooled siblings, she spent her 16th birthday in Spain during a year-long backpacking trip around Europe with her family.
Adventure and flexibility are the heroes of Anine’s lexicon.
“Growing up, I had a different dream job every week!” she asserts. “And I was very serious about all of them, even though I was young. I tried on different hats, talked with different people. I put my feelers out and experimented with lots of different things.”
“My brother is an engineer. For as long as I can remember he has been obsessed with machines – how and why they work. For him it’s all about the process,” Anine explains.
“My own childhood interests had a common ‘processing’ denominator, too, I’ve realized. I am fascinated by the why of things or situations and intent on finding the tools or means to improve them.”
“For me, psychology is all about seeing people where they are. I like determining ways to refine their process so that they can be where they want to be,” she says. “For some it’s a slight shift in perspective or behaviour, while the process can be completely life changing for others.”
After she matriculated Anine couldn’t wait to go travelling. “I bought a one-way ticket to Thailand,” she recalls.
Years later, having navigated a trip back to South Africa – where she landed a job in a travel agency – Anine backpacked around South America. She was working in China when the Covid-19 pandemic struck. “Fortunately, I got one of the last planes out of there!” she exclaims.
With the whole world locked down, Anine turned her attention to other ways she could expand her mind closer to home.
“During this restrictive time SACAP really stood out as being one of the best psychology colleges in South Africa,” she says. “I enrolled for the Bachelor of Applied Social Science degree and was able to study the entire three-year course online.”
The Work Integrated Learning (WIL) module was hands down Anine’s favourite component of the course, she says. “I worked as a psychosocial support worker for an NGO in an underserved community in Wilderness.”
She says, “I loved getting involved and making a positive impact. I engaged with such a diverse range of people from children in pre-school to adolescents and adults.”
While hugely rewarding, the whole WIL exercise is intense, Anine admits. “I think some students question whether they are in fact cut out for the field. Are they able to bracket their own emotional state and manage their personal triggers?”
“We learn how to integrate these experiences, but it’s still pretty hectic,” she adds. “I think people are called to psychology as a realm of healing. I can’t imagine pursuing it without feeling utterly passionate about it because it’s such a responsibility!”
Quiver of skills
“Certainly, the process of studying psychology will shake you up. It uncovers different insights and will refine you as an individual,” Anine says. “Even if you try it on and decide it’s not the vocation for you, its an incredible field to learn soft skills.”
All human transactions rely on these skills. In fact, they are among the top aptitudes employers seek in candidates because they’re important for just about every job.
Anine agrees. She cites her current position as crew member for the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) as an example of the importance of these skills in action. “I am part of a volunteer crew of about 40 people – a diverse group of 16- to 60-year-olds.”
Her role as Chairperson of SACAP’s online Student Representative Council is another area Anine’s interpersonal expertise have paid dividends. “Unlike physical premises, the online campus requires a different way of connecting with students. As their voice you have to keep your finger on the pulse,” she says.
Having tried on many different hats Anine has found one that truly fits. Psychology has opened a pathway of growth that really resonates with her.
“I feel like I’ve graduated from the happy-go-lucky part of myself and I’m in a phase of life where I’d like to follow my intuition,” she says. “This doesn’t mean I want to simply forge ahead with a single-minded focus. There must be space for mystery, and I plan to dance with this too as it unfolds.”
Her five-year gameplan? “My sincerest hope is to be a trailblazer: I want to unlock new ways of healing. Ultimately, I’d like my own practice where I can incorporate dance and art as an alternative approach to therapy,” Anine concludes.
Are you still looking for a cap that fits? Have you considered trying psychology? For some, like Anine, psychology is the stepping stone that orients them on a path of personal growth and adventure. For others it’s a valuable means to enrich their communication with, and understanding of, other people.
Whether either or both ring true for you, the benefits of studying psychology are broad. Keen to discover more about SACAP’s comprehensive range of industry respected psychology courses? It’s easy, simply click here.