Know what baking and psychology have in common?
For a start, creating delicious treats for others satisfies our emotional need for purpose. Baking also contributes to stress relief and makes you feel like you’ve done something good for the world. Fundamentally, it enhances our connection with people.
Similarly, psychology encourages freedom of expression. It offers a means to release tension and impacts our overall wellbeing. Essentially, just like baking, psychology develops our relationships with others.
While this analogy might not be one Adelene van Rooyen, 22, has considered before, it speaks to the quintessential essence of who she is.
Adelene co-owns The Fudgy Den, a registered bakery that she runs part time. “I make cheesecakes, cupcakes, assorted fudge, ice cream and cake pops,” she says. “It’s heaven for a sweet tooth!”
When she’s not whipping up delectable delights, Adelene is studying for her Bachelor of Social Science Honours in Psychology at SACAP. Miraculously, she manages to juggle her measuring cups and mixing tools with the rigorous ingredients of her course. We caught up with Adelene and asked her how she’s enjoying it.
“I have a passion for the mental and physical health of people suffering from eating disorders,” Adelene says. “Growing up I knew that I wanted to help people or animals, but I couldn’t decide between becoming a dietitian, a psychologist or a vet.”
While studying for her BA degree at the University of Pretoria, Adelene was exposed to psychology. She almost failed the subject in her first year, she concedes. “In my second year, however, I started to love it so much that my grades went up by 30-40%.”
Guided by her affection for food and mental health, Adelene decided to pursue a career in psychology. “My dream job is to become a clinical psychologist with a background in intuitive eating and nutrition. I want to provide the best possible care to patients who suffer from eating disorders,” she says.
“At university the classes were huge – about 500-600 students,” Adelene recalls.“I felt like I disappeared because I lacked the courage to ask questions or interact with my educators and peers. I never spoke. It was extremely lonely and hard for me.”
Despite her frustrations, by the time she’d completed her degree Adelene knew she wanted to learn more about psychology. After some research she decided SACAP would be the best place for her to further her studies.
“SACAP definitely got my attention when I read that the classes are extremely small,” she says. “I did not enjoy the large classes at university and the fact that I could not build relationships with my educators.”
Adelene registered at SACAP’s Johannesburg campus where she is currently in the second term of her honours degree. “The learning environment is fantastic,” she asserts. “The educators are unbelievably smart and I feel so privileged to be able to learn from them.”
“I’ve had more fun in the past few weeks than I did during my whole undergraduate,” she continues. “I thought I loved psychology before I applied for my honours, but having completed term one I know I’m definitely on the right path and it’s all thanks to SACAP!”
Adelene rates her SACAP educators highly. “The lecturers ask very thought-provoking questions and are always willing to talk about my grades,” she says. “They explain why I was given a specific mark, which makes it so much easier for me to improve.”
“SACAP keeps us busy with assignments, class activities and opportunities to engage with our classmates and our educators,” Adelene adds. “My lecturer once said: “Do your work to learn, not just to pass.” I believe this sums up SACAP. Our teachers want us to grow and develop in the field of psychology, not just to get the degree and move on.”
Licking the bowl
Adelene says her overall experience of the college has been incredible. “I have learned so much in just one term!” she exclaims. “The way that SACAP tests our knowledge is creative and fun. It has honestly been the best experience so far.”
Where does she hope her SACAP journey will take her? “Next year I plan to enrol for the HUMANITAS Counselling Course at Vita Nova so that I can register as a counsellor at ASCHP,” she says. “Following that I want to apply for SACAP’s master’s programme. It’s extremely hard to get into, which is why I want to take a breather next year and prepare myself for the selection week.”
Icing on the cake
Somewhat unexpectedly, Adelene’s SACAP course is having a positive effect on her baking side gig. “The degree is teaching me to be more patient as well as understanding towards other people,” she explains. “It has taught me time management skills and how to prioritize my responsibilities, too.”
Sounds like Adelene gets to bake her cake and eat it! How about you? If you’ve completed a psychology undergrad degree and you’re keen to pursue your master’s, then consider enrolling for SACAP’s honours programme.
The one-year qualification will deepen your knowledge and critical thinking skills, and take your undergraduate qualification to the next level. Sound tempting? Sign up for SACAP’s honours degree. It could be the icing on your cake.