SURPRISE! Sam Is Back

If you have been following the MSPP student blog for the Counseling program over this past year, you will probably recognize me (or at least my writing style)! Originally, I had wrapped up blogging at the end of the summer, but I was just asked to continue writing about my school, internship, and personal experiences over the course of my second year.

To catch you up to speed if you are a new reader, I began the Counseling program in fall 2009 as a full time student and I will be graduating (if all goes according to plan) this June, 2011.  Last year, I worked at a college in Office of Wellness Education doing substance use assessments with students and psychoeducational outreach events on campus.  I had a WONDERFUL experience working with the college population and I had a helpful and enthusiastic supervisor, which definitely made the experience even more enjoyable and valuable.

Over the summer, I took courses (which is a requirement of the program) and then I had about a month-long vacation, which was greatly needed!  I’m a big advocator of self-care, so I took time to visit family and then I traveled out west to the Rocky Mountains.  I know that my classmates and I were feeling fairly burnt out at the end of the intensive summer session, so it was refreshing to have a little downtime before starting up with my second year.

I was excited to start classes again in September, and I can already tell that the semester is going to fly-by.  Right now I am taking all of my classes on Mondays (9AM-6:20PM) so it feels like a LONG day! We have an hour for lunch and a few other breaks during the day, so it is always rejuvenating to sit and chat with friends.  I feel as though I have become significantly closer with all of the people in my program, especially because with each new semester comes new classmates.  This semester is also interesting for me because I have new professors whom I did not have in my first year.

So far, I am really enjoying my professors’ teaching styles.  I am taking 3 courses: Consultation and Collaboration, Multi-stressed Families, and an Internship Seminar.  One professor firmly believes that you learn best by doing, so we have done role-plays to become more familiar with different counseling techniques.  I find this helpful because it forces me to practice the technique, and I almost always come up with questions that I would not have had if I just sat and listened to a lecture and read the textbook.

I think that my clinical seminar is a pretty special class.  The students and professor make it feel like a really supportive and safe space where I can talk about any difficulties at my internship, or challenges I am having with clients.

One thing that I was not expecting this semester is to feel so exhausted within the first month.  Between school, my new second-year internship, a babysitting job, and a club lacrosse team, I am BUSY BUSY BUSY!  I think that it may take me a couple more weeks to fully adjust to my new schedule.  But one thing is for sure, I already feel like a more competent clinician than I did at the end of the summer session, and it is only one month into the semester!

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