I try to keep this blog as speech focused as possible, and honestly debated about posting this but thought that other graduate students might be able to relate. So here is my graduate school story…
Today is the day. Today is the day where I get to move back home to complete my final semester of graduate school. I will be doing a full time externship in an elementary school and taking all online classes.
I am not going to lie to you and pretend that graduate school was this amazing, fun experience.
Honestly, at times I felt more isolated than I could have ever imagined feeling. I missed my parents, my brother, my boyfriend, and my friends more than I thought I ever would. I felt lonely and trapped being in another state so far away. I didn’t make a big group of friends like I thought I would. I developed bad anxiety. Each time I returned back to Virginia after spending time back home, I wasn’t myself for weeks. I was just sad. I stopped responding to emails and shut myself off.
But I learned so much about my future career. I learned that I love speech-language pathology and I’m good at it. I’m passionate and couldn’t imagine a career other than this. I started blogging and “met” the some of the most amazing, passionate SLPs this world has ever seen. I worked my butt of and was able to pay off some of my loans while in school. I made friends that I will never forget. I appreciate my parents, brother, boyfriend, and friends more than ever before. And honestly, I feel as though I’m better able to relate to my students when they talk about feeling isolated, anxious, and lonely. To me, that matters a lot. I ran my first half marathon. I passed the Praxis. I got way better grades than I ever have in my life. I explored a new part of the country. I learned how strong I am by myself.
What I’m trying to say is that if your graduate experience (or any experience for that matter) isn’t what you dreamed of or expected, it will end. Make the most of it while you’re there. Go out and experience the area. Take up new hobbies with your classmates.
And for heaven’s sake, don’t quit! You got this.
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