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A New Beginning

The dust is finally settling all around, as the sun sets on the two year battle.  The field is eerily quiet as slowly, we walk onwards.  Exhausted from sleepless nights and daunting tasks, our stagger is not strong.  And yet, we survived.  We no longer look at one another.  We do not rely on each other.  After all is said and done, we all just wish to forget everything we’ve seen and done.  Friends have been made and lost in an instant.  But alas, graduate school is finished.  And a new beginning is in sight.

Perhaps this is a little dramatic.  However, graduate school has had a strong effect on me...physically, emotionally, and to a lesser extent, academically.  Two years ago, I came to graduate school full of hope and wonder.  I was so eager to begin, that I read several chapters of my textbooks over the summer.  I had always excelled in school, and expected graduate school to be the same.  I was so excited to learn with like and different minded people, to broaden my horizons, and to become fully prepared to work in the field.  After months of anxiously waiting, I had received the acceptance letter to my top choice university, and was finally on my way.  Not only did I have my studies to look forward to, but for the first time in my life, I had a real “professional” job that did not entail changing diapers and came with its own office.

Coming in, I was a young, intelligent woman with hobbies ranging from marathon running to baking, and a passion for psychology and education.  Little did I know that a mere two years later, I would leave a still intelligent, but burnt out woman who would rather plop down in front of the television on any day off work and school than pursue any particular interest.  I would go months without running, or working out in any other capacity.  And would be left with few of the friends I came in with.  I look back at where I was, and really can’t help but wonder if I’ve moved forward at all.

At least, I am finished with that portion of my life.  There will be no more papers being finished at 3 am for an 8 am class.  There will be no more 300 page reading assignments every week.  Instead, I’ll be working reasonable hours for slightly closer to reasonable wages.  I’ll be interacting with professionals in the field.  I’ll be applying my skills.  And best of all, every day I’ll be working in a way which contributes to the educational well being of children.  From everything I’ve been told by more advanced students, internship is a much less stressful and more rewarding part of my program.  It truly is a new beginning with countless professional opportunities awaiting me.

Although, I must admit, I am still anxious about what is yet to come in internship.  What will they expect me to know?  What will I have forgotten from my classes and practicum?  Will I permanently destroy a child’s educational career with a misdiagnosis or sub-par counseling skills?  And on a more personal note, will I be able to finish the program?  I know I’ve worked hard.  I am dedicated to do my best this coming year.  But after everything I’ve learned about my professors and the effects of political motives on decisions regarding graduate students, I fear for my academic standing.  It’s sad that purely because of the company I keep, I fear my best bet is to keep my head low, and hope they just sign off my diploma with the rest.  Hopefully these fears will prove to be unwarranted.

However, it is only a week and a half until my new life begins.  A new last name, a new job, new supervisors, new sleeping habits, new life routines, and a 15% off discount at Michael's for being an educator.  I had given up writing anything during my graduate school years that wasn’t academic and boosting a specific professor’s ego.  I hope to build writing amongst  other hobbies back into my life during this new start.

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