At school he was already familiar with the subject, yet Julius Wolff never thought that he would one day decide to study Psychology. Today, the extraordinarily committed Munich native is already in his sixth semester and is doing his best for other students alongside his studies. Why he has never regretted his decision to come to Klagenfurt, he tells us in an interview.
Was it clear from the beginning that you would study Psychology?
Psychology was an optional subject at school, and I was always quite good at it, but I did not intend to study it because of that. I did not start studying immediately after my school leaving examination, but I had myself put on the waiting list (without success) in Munich. In the discovery phase after school, I had enough time to deal with the contents of my studies in detail and then realised how much I was actually interested in the subject matter and decided to take it seriously.
Why did you choose Klagenfurt to study?
I originally wanted to study in Salzburg. A funny coincidence made it possible that I got to know Univ.-Prof. Judith Glück. She is a lecturer and head of the Department of Developmental Psychology at the University of Klagenfurt. After an interesting exchange about studying in Klagenfurt, she invited me to write the entrance test in Klagenfurt instead of Salzburg. Now, I have been here for three years and do not regret it for a second. Klagenfurt’s familiar character is what I appreciate most here.
What are your favorite areas of study and why?
Especially in the first semesters, I was very enthusiastic about Social Psychology. A little later, I discovered the topic of Group Dynamics for myself because of the tied electives. These two subjects definitely overlap. I am fascinated by the phenomenon of groups and the extent to which people permanently influence each other.
How would you explain the contents of your studies to a stranger?
I would describe my studies as the last “Studium generale”. The content taught is about what happens inside people, what happens between people (i.e. inter- and intrapersonal processes) and how body and mind function as a unit. Different causes and explanations for human behaviour and experience are discussed, and one learns that every person is individual and that there is not one explanation for all.
Has your view of the world changed through your studies?
Definitely. Although I would not directly attribute this to the contents of my studies, but to the interactive exchange with my fellow students. The open exchange in the university and in the private context has definitely broadened my horizon.
Can you tell us a memorable AAU anecdote?
I met a 30-year-old guy from Berlin at a university football tournament, whom I had never seen before in two years at the AAU. The next day he happened to be sitting next to me in a seminar and we realised that we were studying the same thing and were even in the same semester. We both shook our heads about how small the world (especially Klagenfurt) is. From then on, we always saw each other by chance. Since then we have become good friends. That is typical for life in Klagenfurt.
What do you look forward to when you arrive at the university?
Mostly, I look forward to meeting people I know by chance. The campus is manageable, so you can always get in touch with others and have the opportunity to meet people. In addition, I am of course always looking forward to “work” in the ÖH (Austrian Student Union), the PLUS (Platform for Independent Students) and the ÖH sports department.
Why should one study here?
Here, you get the opportunity for an exchange at eye level. You can always seek personal contact with lecturers and other students. The focus of your studies is on skills acquisition, not cramming.
Do you have any advice to share with AAU freshers?
Be sure to follow the social media channels of the AAU Klagenfurt and the ÖH. They offer an incredible amount of information about studying and about the events alongside your studies. Especially at the beginning you will not miss any important information. Many people do not even know about the wide range of services offered by the university and the ÖH.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I have a rough idea of where I want to go. I would like to do preventive work later, whether with children or adults. Psychology does not start in therapy or in the outpatient clinic, but much earlier. My aim is to start before that and not to let it get that far in the first place.