Sometimes there are days when I just sit down and seriously consider things for a while. I had one of those days yesterday and into this morning.
I’ve realized that I don’t know what I want to do after university. At all. I mean, I want to take some time off to work full-time, buy a car and live school-free for a little while. But as for grad school? I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by the possibilities. I’ve wanted to be a therapist for several years now but I had a comment from a classmate a couple months ago that got me thinking. She said:
“If you want to have a career in academia, take clinical psychology at the graduate level. If you want to be a therapist, take counseling psychology. If you take clinical psychology, you’ll spend 4 years doing research and almost no time learning practical skills.”
I immediately had an “oh crap” moment when she said that because I realized how true that is. I think I had this thought in the back of my mind, especially because one of my prospective choices, the University of Waterloo, is heavy into research, but her words made me realize that I don’t actually want to go there because of that.
This led me to start considering counseling psychology as well as a program at the University of Guelph – Clinical Psychology: Applied Developmental Emphasis. What this means is clinical psychology with a focus on children and youth and how their development plays a role in psychological disorders. It sounds perfect for me.
But then the poster conference happened and I had an OISE alumnus talking to me about how my research would lead me right into a Bachelor of Education and maybe a job with the school board as a consultant, as a teacher, or as a school psychologist. I had actually considered the counseling program at OISE but now I feel like I have other things to consider.
Thank goodness I’m taking some time off before grad school! Can you imagine if I’d planned to go this fall? There’s no way I’d have had this figured out in time and I could have ended up in a program that wasn’t right for me.
I’ve also realized that I should do what I love, no matter what schooling is required or how much money I’ll make. If I really want to work with reading disabled children and I’m passionate about it, I should do it, even if it’s less money. If I really want to be a child therapist – same deal. I need to figure out what I enjoy most and what I want to do, not which job others would approve of or which makes a good living. I’ve spent so much of my life worrying about what others think I should do and now I need to do what’s best for me. These realizations just hit me like a ton of bricks last night. But I’m glad it did, even though I’m feeling a little overwhelmed and lost about my future.
I know I’ll figure it out. It just takes time.
I realized one other thing: my “diet” is no longer a diet, or something temporary. It’s my new way of life. I’m close to my goal weight and I realized that I no longer have the desire to eat some of the things I used to, not even on rare occasions. I want to continue doing what I’m doing (revised, of course, with more calories). I never want to go back to my unhealthy lifestyle of pizza, pasta, burgers and no exercise. I enjoy being active and healthy foods taste good to me now.
I packed up my old jeans that no longer fit and put them in a box. I was slightly sad to say goodbye to one of my favourite pairs of capris, but they are far too big. My roommate said “well, you could always fit into them again if you gain the weight back” and I thought NO WAY! I’m not going back to the old me. This is me now – I’m healthy and I don’t want to be unhealthy like that again.
So there you have it – my sudden explosion of deep thoughts! I think school must have been keeping them in check for a while but I’m glad they’re free.