My [Short] Journey to MSPP

You could say that I was born to be in the Psychology field, but that I didn’t realize it until it slapped me in the face right before I started undergrad. Before a very specific moment in time, my goal was to be a writer. I loved writing. Writing was my life. I hadn’t an inkling about the Psychology field or the wonderful things it would offer me. But, like many people on the path to therapy (or some other Psych related avenue), I was touched very personally by mental illness.

My path to MSPP began on my back deck on a sunny April morning, and somewhere between a bad phone call and the classroom where I sit now, I was changed by Psychology. I still don’t know why my heart cried out “be a therapist,” but it did. All through undergrad I did my best to get the fundamentals down, and two years ago I applied to this school and have not looked back.

What’s funny is that I had only heard about MSPP once during my Undergraduate career, and once was all I had to hear. It stuck with me for no particular reason. In my search for graduate programs to apply to, there was no blinding spell put on me by this institution. But there was always some inkling inside of me that I would end up here. I remember the woman who told me about this school, Dr. Dolinsky, spoke of it candidly and fondly. “So and so applied there,” she said. “It’s a really competitive school.”

It must have been the word “competitive.” The Newton’s cradle-click of the syllables off one another. I was hooked in a passive way I can’t describe. Out of the five schools I applied to, MSPP was the only one I found myself caring about. I vividly remember filling out the application and writing my essays at my senior internship in Salem. I remember the swell of anxiety and excitement that bloomed in my chest as I clicked the “finish” button on that online application.

Then there was Interview day, which included an exhaustive drive from Beverly to West Roxbury at 6 in the morning. I remember being irked because it was my first day of Winter Break. (Small cookies now.) All I have to say about that day is that it’s tiring, but fun in a way. MSPP loves food, and feeds us well on many occasions. This was my first experience with the grand MSPP feasts I’ve come to love. But the day was as you’d expect. I was nervous, there were group and single-person interviews. I left feeling confident, because the staff are so nice.

It’s funny, because I don’t remember much of the waiting period. Around the time everyone applied to colleges, I was starting my undergraduate thesis. It’s a lot like Capstone, which I’m neck-deep in now. I can honestly say, given how busy I am now, I was just as busy while I waited for the response from this school. I do remember when I got it, though. I remember the phone conversation with my father. “I got into MSPP,” I said to him. “They want $1000 by [x date]. I have to make a decision and I haven’t even got a response from my other schools.”

Wasn’t that the rub? Was I the only one who experienced this? MSPP did the hard sell. They wanted you in or out, now. But I made the right decision. As stressful as it felt in that moment, I said, “sure, I’ll go to your school,” and never looked back. I’ve found a home in this school, with a group of friends who think like me and want the best in other people, just like me. Learning together has been such a wonderful experience. And the professors are brilliant. My father has asked me several times whether the education is worth the debt. It absolutely is. And that’s a lot of debt.

A passion drove me here. I have to say I’m glad. This experienced has changed my mind and my view of the world. I’ve learned that I can create change. I’ve seen the good in people through this school. And I’ve been challenged. This part is important, because it’s in no way easy to be here. I am not a perfect student, although I strive for that. I love who I’ve become through this.

About Ashley

I'm a 2nd year Counseling Psychology student, currently on track to graduate in June! My internship site is the F. L. Chamberlain School in Middleboro, MA. Last year I worked at Seven Hills Behavioral Health in New Bedford. I also work in the Arbour Health System at Pembroke Hospital on an acute psych inpatient unit. Got any questions? Let me know!
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