I cant believe how summer semester has flown by. I feel like I’m learning a lot. From sex offender umbrella terms…impoverished folks…harm reduction…to letting go. These are not only life lessons for me as a therapist but also concepts that can help me grow everyday. This program is trickling into my soul each and everyday.
Through first year of graduate school, I’ve swung through a ton of emotions. From hopelessness to dedication, worry to contentment, despair to goal-setting. It was a roller coaster first semester. I thought I wouldn’t finish gracefully.
The constant reoccurring complaint I had was the amount of reading each class gave us. I realized quickly I was overworrying. That it’s impossible to read everything and that I was setting myself up for failure if I thought that was possible. That graduate school isn’t trying to drain you but actually help us grasp the knowledge and apply it to our clients and our current selves.
Case studies helped me see my biases and helped my classmates see their biases. To know I had a “white bias” was embarrassing to realize. For so long I chose to believe all white people are to blame for the racism in this world. I blamed that community for our new president (vomit).
I quickly learned I was wrong to judge the whole race for the ignorance of a few. I am still learning.
For example, we talked about homeless people today in class. Why do we blame them for their state? When in reality this is all related to institutional racism. The jails are filled with a majority of black people for petty crimes (marijuana use, etc) and then the homeless are also a majority black or latinx. This saddens me, how I used to judge them. I would never give money to a homeless person because of the fear they would use it for drugs, alcohol, or worse. My teacher today said “Give money if you can without using your privelege to control how they use it. Everyone has a story”.
I still have a lot to learn and each day is eye-opening.
In terms of money, if you’re wondering if its worth the money, I’d say it is. I got accepted to other schools that gave more money, but I would have a lack of cultural diversity if I had gone there. I didn’t want to be the token so I chose to stay in a big city. If money is the issue, well think of the big picture and look at the need for your career in society. Is it high demand or low demand? That should help make the decision of going or not going to graduate school a lot clearer.