Well, today’s the day. In 6 hours I will officially have graduated with my Masters in Counseling Psychology. You would think that I would be excited about all the free time I will have now, however, for most of this quarter I’ve had mixed feelings. I was nervous as I knew my time with my cohort, and receiving great academic support, was coming to an end. I didn’t get to see much of my cohort this quarter as the classes were less traditional than previous school quarters. The last day of class I felt more sadness and uncertainly. I wondered if the paths of my cohort and I would cross again. The days between the last class and today have helped me ease into this transition some, but I still feel quite nervous.
For two years I have been able to pick the brains of my professors regarding counseling theory and practice. I have also been able to challenge my introverted self, and get to know people in my cohort better. The last two years also consumed any free time I had. Managing a full-time job counseling, and a full-time grad school counseling program was intensely demanding. I felt like the quality of my work on the job and in school suffered as my life was consumed by deadlines. Although challenging and stressful, these situations are what I chose in order to be where I am right now, in this moment. Hours away from graduating. I’m pretty grateful.
These last two years weren’t easy in my personal life either. Two of my brother’s passed away, my relationship was both supportive and stressful, and I packed in more types of 12-step meetings to help me through these ordeals (ya’ know, with all that spare time I had). I faced a lot of demons and grew in some ways, and feel stunted in others. In general, I see my experiences as a way to keep me in line with my belief that we are all humans trying to do this “life” thing. As a counselor I do my best not to place myself above my clients. My life experiences keep my heart open and my feet on the ground.
When I think back to the first quarter of grad school, it feels like so long ago. I feel I was such a different person then. I also try to remember why I wanted this degree. What was my passion? What was my motivation and vision? School focuses so much on the technicalities, that it can lack a lot of soul. My school had pockets of soul, and leaned more heavily on the technical issues that require brain energy. After two-years of study I feel like I lost some of my spiritual aspects of practice as my brain wants to run things more. Trust me, that isn’t good. So I am looking forward to re-connecting with my heart, intuition, and spirit as I know these aspects are what help in the healing process.
So I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn, grow, and heal. I am grateful for the blending of mind and spirit. I am grateful for meeting new people and building a network of support. I am grateful for this new chapter in my life.