I cannot remember the first time I knew I wanted to go to graduate school. When I was in high school and middle school, I knew I wanted to do Social Work or Neuropsyhcology, or something with helping people. That was the only thing I knew: I wanted to help people.

As I experienced my four years of college, I realized that there is a lot of people to help when they are in college. As a first-generation college student, I had zero clue what my college experience was, if I was “doing  it right”, and how I was assimilating compared to my peers. The unfortunate thing about first-generation college students and other marginalized groups is that we often compare ourselves to others, not taking into consideration that everyone has a very different experience.

Was my time at Stevenson enlightening and possibly one of the best choices of my life? Absolutely. Was it also a roller coaster filled with guilt, anxiety, depression, and obscure comparisons? Yes, it was!

When I found out I could go to graduate school and get a degree that specifically allows me to help people in colleges, I was shocked and excited. This was what I wanted to do! From that point forward, I had the support of pretty much everyone at my university. Why? Because they believed in me, and even in my foolish self-comparisons, they knew I had the capacity to make a positive change on a college campus.

To say I am excited about graduate school is an understatement. To be able to imagine myself on the way to becoming an expert in something is beyond humbling. These next steps will allow me to start thinking about the various aspects of higher education that will allow me to become a true maker-of-change.

Excitement runs through me every time I think about my program and how I intend to make it my own. Research, independent studies, collaborating with faculty, and so much more is at my fingertips. My cohort is small and I appreciate that. My faculty are all one great group of people; something I am beyond familiar with (shout out to the SU Department of Psychology)!

Time to see what this world has in store. At the end of the day, who knows where I will end up? All I know is that there are at least a couple more letters to be coming after my name–just you wait!

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