It’s been a while since I’ve blogged – two months to be exact, and a lot has happened during that time. To get back into the swing of things, I’m going to do the SITS five-day “Back to Blogging Challenge”. For those who don’t know, SITS is a group of more than 7,000 women bloggers who encourage and support each other by reading and commenting on blogs. Now, this challenge started and ended last week, but I figured it’s better late than never… Right! So, for the next five days, I’ll be Getting Back to Blogging!
Day 1 of the SITS Back to Blogging Challenge: Re-upload your first post or rewrite it, giving a before and after look.
I wrote my first blog, My Pursuit of Happiness, a little over five months ago. So, instead of reposting it, I’m going to rewrite it with an update – I find this option appropriate with all that’s going on. [Read about My Pursuit of Happiness here].
Shortly after I posted my first blog (like, literally 9 days later) I received notification that I was accepted into Graduate School, and four months later I would begin my journey to obtain a Masters in Counselor Education. How exciting, right? For me, it was exciting and scary at the same time. I was looking forward to this new chapter in my life and a little nervous about what was in store. After all, it was going on four years since I’d been in college – and this was not going to be like undergrad. It wasn’t long before I realized that being out in the “real world” and having the opportunity to experience the things that I have prepared me for this point in my life. So, for me, being in the professional world before pursuing grad school was a good thing. I was ready for school – mentally.
Aside from the excitement and nervousness that I felt, I was motivated and focused. One thing I did to prepare myself was buy a few books to read. Now those who know me well know that reading is not something that I do for fun (as a writer, I know that’s not good!). However, I figured I would be doing a lot of it in grad school and I wanted to get back in the hang of reading on a regular. Another thing that I had to get a head start on was financing my education. Thankfully, I was able to get an assistantship that paid 75% of my tuition and a monthly stipend. I also received a scholarship, so in the end all was paid for – school and books. To me, this was confirmation that I was headed in the right direction.
Fast forward to August – school is in session! I wasn’t sure what to expect – of my classes, my classmates, or my professors. It all was new to me. I’m in a cohort (meaning I go through the program with the same group of students and most of us will be taking the same classes), I only have three classes, and the teaching/learning structure of the classes is different than what I’m use to. But, I came in with an open-mind (good quality of a counselor) and I’m enjoying it. My cohort is small, but diverse. We vary in age, race, background (educational, professional, etc.), culture, and more. So far, the classes that I’m taking (Multicultural Counseling, Ethics in Counseling, and Intro. to Counseling) are very interesting. The only adjustment I’ve had to make is with the structure of the classes. We read, take a quiz/test, and then we discuss (in one class we barely do that). I know that some people are thinking, “what’s the problem”, especially those who take classes online, etc. And I understand that. It’s just not something I’m use to, and I wasn’t expecting my classes to be like this – especially since they’re not online. But, I’m adjusting fairly well.
I will admit, my standards (regarding grades) have changed since undergrad. Don’t get me wrong, I did well in undergrad, but I didn’t do as well as I could have had I applied myself more. This time, I’m striving to do my best – all A’s is what I want and what I’m striving for. Is that so bad?! Lately, I’ve been told to not worry about grades so much and that nobody’s ‘nerfect’ (nerd + perfect) – yeah, but that’s a little hard to do when it’s evident that you have to maintain certain grades in order to successfully complete the program. Regardless, I know my goals and what my priorities are and that’s what I’m focused on.
All in all, I’ve been learning a lot about others and myself through the reading assignments and the class discussions. In counseling it’s good to know and understand who you are and what you believe as a person before you are able to counsel someone else! One important lesson – an important quality as a counselor – is that “you can’t judge a book by its cover” and “you really don’t know the whole story until you read the entire book”. I’m sure many of you have heard the first statement, and the second is just my addition to that. Take them into consideration the next time you encounter someone – a challenge from me to you! Don’t be so quick judge a person by their looks or by the little information that you know about them. Their story may be deeper than what meets the eye – or ear (hear-say). Anywho – I realize I may have gone on a tangent. Point is, I’m learning some interesting things, and I can’t wait to share some of them with you! This is just the tip of the iceberg (like on the show If You Really Knew Me – more on this later).
You know, I’ve always been a “counselor” at heart. Now, I’m a professional counselor in the making! Want to know more about my journey? Stay tuned…
~ Ciara Walker