Attending graduate school is an admirable adventure that some journey on when they feel the calling within to move forward with a certain study. I personally went back to school to get my degree in counseling. Higher education is a must for the mental health field. Through the two year voyage, I felt like I had been in school forever and thought that graduation day would never come. Looking back, I am thankful for all the lessons I learned because I am a much stronger person than I ever could have imagined.
Procrastination does not equal productivity: I used to live by the statement “I am best when under stress.” But I soon learned the hard way when faced with a twenty page paper due within twenty-four hours; which led to what felt like a nervous breakdown and wanting to quit the program all together. I schemed my way through under-grad when I had small papers due. I could type up a five page paper in no time. My method of learning, or rather my act of getting by, had to change.
Trust your intuition: While completing my counseling internship, I learned how to get in touch with my own body. I had this intuition, something I have always had, but never really noticed. It sure came in handy when I was dealing with a suicidal client. I was nervous to trust her when she said she would not harm herself, but I felt that she would be okay deep down in my gut after accessing the situation. My intuition was right and it has helped me especially when I make personal decisions in life.
Be passionate: If you are not passionate about what you are doing, then the light that is driving your fire will dissipate. If the passion is not there, then you are not where you belong. It may take some soul searching, but do what you love. It may sound cheesy and cliché, but you only have one life, so do what makes your fire deep inside of you burn.
Friends and Laughter: Friends are a must when going through any program. You will have professors that go on ego rants, other students who talk way too much, and research assignments that seem as useless as giving a pig a bar of soap. If you can laugh your way through these testing times, it absolutely makes the ride more durable.
Don’t give up: There were times when I wanted to give up because all of the work, internship, papers, and stress were too much. But I held onto the fact that I was almost to the finish line. The pressures that I faced helped me to push forward. Going through and finishing the program is definitely one of the biggest highlights of my life and when I look at my degree, I remember how strong I truly am.