8 professors, 1 daunting first-year exam, 35 credits, 11 rigorous courses, a teacher licensing exam, 200 hours of practicum, and uncountable hours of studying later….we had made it! Well, sort of. If you want to be a school psychologist, getting a master’s degree is a bit like turning the hill on a hike and seeing a beautiful vista – and then realizing there are still hours to go before you reach the summit (not to mention the journey back down).
Still, this past Saturday was a milestone. My classmates and I organized and participated in a small ceremony to recognize completion of our master’s degree. While we still have a year of classes, a year of internship, and a praxis exam to go (at the bare minimum), we all made it through to this important step. We were honored to share the moment with our families and friends, and touched by the presence of faculty members who chose to come to school on a Saturday to attend. One of our professors gave a heartfelt speech sharing his words of wisdom as we trod along on our way to a challenging, rewarding, and often befuddling career (wait, what do school psychologists do again?).
We sealed the deal with a champagne toast and plenty of Italian food in a large conference room on the third floor of the new building, surrounded by sunlight streaming in the tall windows. While we still have “miles to go before we sleep,” or rather, much work to be done before becoming certified psychologists, stopping to take in the view and recognize our efforts thus far felt wonderful. And now, to the top!