In my last post I wrote about some of the reasons why I chose to attend MSPP. I thought it might also be helpful to share my journey before deciding to apply to counseling programs, as I can recall the days when I was contemplating what to do with my life and I found it incredibly helpful to read about current students’ experiences. So, without further adieu, here goes my story of becoming a student in the Master’s in Counseling Psychology program at MSPP…
Once upon a time, in a far away land, I was on the premed track and I had hopes of attending medical school after college. For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with medicine and I always envisioned myself becoming a doctor. I think this was in large part due to my personal experience with illness, as I endured a very traumatic hospitalization at the age of twelve as a result of a perforated appendix. Ever since then, I was dead set on becoming a doctor to help sick children like I had been helped by the wonderful staff of doctors and nurses at UMASS Memorial Medical Center.
However, once I got to college and started on the premed track with all of the science and math requirements, I VERY quickly learned that this curriculum was not my cup of tea. After battling through biology, chemistry, and calculus, with a sub-par performance, I made the decision to explore other areas of study and I registered for Introduction to Psychology for my second semester. I immediately found myself fascinated with the field of psychology and soon discovered that not only was I much more interested in the course material but I was pleasantly surprised with how much easier it came to me than my previously taken premed classes. I soon thereafter declared myself as a Psychology major and I haven’t looked back since.
I have always been interested in working with children and upon finishing my undergrad degree I knew I eventually wanted to pursue graduate studies in some sort of child psychology related field, but I wasn’t sure exactly what type of program I wanted so I decided to take a couple of years off to figure that out. Soon after moving back to Boston I found myself employed at Children’s Hospital Boston as an Administrative Assistant for one of the physicians, and while this was not what I planned to do forever it was a great experience that afforded me the opportunity of exploring my interest in child psychology and medicine. Soon after I began to work at Children’s, I started volunteering through the Child Life program on the organ transplant unit, which was an absolutely incredible experience. Once a week after work I would spend time on the unit playing games, doing arts and crafts, and visiting kids who were hospitalized on the unit. I was astounded with the strength, resiliency, and positive attitudes of the kids and families that I met and I couldn’t help but wonder what it must be like for them to be hospitalized for weeks and sometimes months at a time. I found myself struck with wanting to understand what sort of psychological effect such hospitalizations and medical experiences had on children and their families. As a result of my volunteer experiences I was able to learn that I wished to pursue a graduate education in the field of health psychology.
However, by the time I figured all of this out I had missed the deadline to apply to the Psy.D program, but the Master’s in Counseling Psychology program was still accepting applications so I decided to apply. I couldn’t be happier with my decision and I am excited to continue on my journey.