My name is Stephanie, and I'm working on my Masters of Science in Counseling (LPC) at SMU. I've taken a somewhat indirect path to graduate school. In fact, my undergraduate degree is in Writing & Rhetoric. I was especially interested in editing and creative nonfiction, but I often felt like I was on a road trip without a map--like I wasn't moving towards a meaningful destination. I finally had to admit to myself that I was interested in working with people and their stories on a deeper level than I could reach through editing and writing.
Studying counseling allows me to examine the complexity of the human experience and channel that directly into helping people. It can be exhausting work, though. My classes challenge me both intellectually and emotionally, and there are many days when I feel like I'm just running on caffeine and adrenaline (which I'm sure most of you do, too!). With all of the demands and pressures of grad school, it can be difficult to practice self-care, but as a future helping professional, I know that I have to learn how to take care of myself before I can take care of anyone else.
One of my goals for this blog is to learn how to incorporate self-care into the chaos of grad school life and share what I find with you. I also hope to use this as a space where I can talk about the kind of stuff that I wish I had known or thought about when I was in the midst of applying to programs, when I was new to grad school, or when I've felt a little overwhelmed. And, of course, I’m interested to hear about your experiences and get your feedback, too.
Even though it is incredibly challenging, I wouldn't trade a second of my grad school experience for anything. When I reflect on my experience in the SMU Counseling program thus far, I know that I'm exactly where I need to be, and I feel like I've finally oriented myself on the map.
What was your road to graduate school like? Did you always know where you were headed? Are you thinking about exploring a new path? Let me know in the comments!