When I went “away” to college in CowTown, USA, studying was my least favorite pastime as a freshman. Having moved from NYC to a village that had its very own alfalfa plant sending a less-than-stellar aroma into the environment, I figured socializing would be the best way to cope. After finally getting my academic brain in gear (maybe after the first year?) I realized it was time to do some work and make the numbers on my transcript a little more grad school friendly. After 4 years and a few all-nighters, I graduated with my double major.
My first “real” job after graduation was as a counselor at an Intensive Outpatient Partial Care Program where my responsibilities included maintaining a partially Spanish-speaking-only caseload. The language skills I worked on while I had studied abroad in Spain during my junior year of college certainly helped me in this department. This was a great selling point when MSPP interviewed me for the MA Counseling program. When I had started searching grad schools, my Google search revealed only a handful of programs in the U.S. that offered a specialization in Latino Mental Health. Soon it looked like Boston or Chicago was about to become my new home. But when I attended Interview Day at MSPP, I knew. Similar to the feeling that emerged during the tour of the college in CowTown, USA, MSPP just felt right and was offering me exactly what I was looking for: Spanish, Psychology and extensive training at field placements right away.
Writing the many essays to get into the school was a task all on its own. But when I reflect on that initial part of the process now, I realize it was just the beginning of embarking on a journey of self-discovery and getting to know myself better. Being just a few more months away from graduation, I still feel just as awkward as when I started here. But that’s okay because awkward or not, the program has prepared me with the skills necessary to perform good clinical work. This experience will be what you make of it and if you put the effort into succeeding with your education and asking for help or guidance along the way, surely you will reach your goals.