I need to process out my emotions about this semester of grad school ending. Last semester, I struggled because I took 4 classes at the graduate level, looked for an internship,became the Beta Chi secretary and facilitated an academic success group for undergraduates. To say that it challenged my growth academically is an understatement. My Doctoral Prep class really pushed me, I worked with a fellow student on a research project and there was just so much I had to do for that class. We ended up doing a poster presentation on our literature review at a leadership workshop at Youngstown State University this semester, I made some great contacts and it made all of the stress from last semester so worth it.
This semester found me struggling to find my counseling identity since I was now in practicum interacting with clients, participating in Group class, where I embraced the thought of working on my issues with my fellow students every week for 12 weeks. I wrote in one of my reflections that “Sharing is hard work” and it is. Sharing with a group of people you do not know intimately means being vulnerable, open and hopefully honest. I cried the first session and today the last. Crying is something I hate to do, it make me feel more vulnerable as if that were possible.
I have learned so much about me as a person this semester! Every group session taught me something new about who I am, who I want to be and who I was. I learned that my past as traumatic as it was is a good thing as long as I put it into perspective and learn from it. I have taken so many classes where I had to reflect on who I am in the last two years of this program that I have started healing and integrating my past into my present and my future. I cannot explain how exciting or scary that is for me. No longer do I feel like I need to hide my trauma but that I can use it to show others that one can heal and have a future.
I am so very thankful for making the right decision two years ago when I worried over what grad program to go to. I remember praying about it and one day, I realized that I would make the right decision and that God knew I would. I have had an amazing group of professors in my academic career over the last 8.5 years. I just need a moment to say thank you to all of them: Emily: you told me that I was smart enough to succeed and get my doctorate if I decided to do so, and you know what? I plan on pursuing just that in Counseling Education and Supervision. Robyn: you have always been there to listen to my stories and that has saved my mind so many times. Rachel: I know that we don’t get much time together but you were wonderful with me and I learned so much. Kate: You have always been so supportive of me and what I want to be regardless of where my decisions lead me. Toni: Gosh, I love you, your perspective, your willingness to help me when I am sure I drove you crazy (Although, most of my profs can relate to that). Jan: you validated me for my experiences so many times and where would I be without you? Scott: I loved Latin class with you, you never freaked out when I gave you hell or when I was to sick to be in school or struggled with Latin. Dr. Shang: I have always admired your knowledge and your sense of humor, seeing you the other day, reminded me how much you gave me as a student, Dr. Gehlert: you drive me crazy sometimes but you also push me to be my best and I admire that. Dr. Shermann: Thank you for the opportunity to work with undergrads, that experience made me realize that I love teaching and mentoring students. Dr. Finucane: for giving me an opportunity to work with you on a publication and gain experience, so hoping that we get published next year. Martina: You are my biggest fan, and I am so thankful for you and all that you have given me over the last two semesters.
I am truly blessed by all of my professors, they are my rock, they have taught me so much, written wonderful letters of recommendation for me and just supported me throughout my academic career.Thank you for being the people I needed to push, support and care about me. I love each and every one of you!