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I Overcame Doubt



Joined: 5/14/2011
Posts: 53
riserthinking
Although it was school, college always had less structure and more options. How many classes did I want to occupy seats in? How much did I want to invest to climb a ladder of labor? At what point was I supposed to achieve something, if anything?
Never have I felt more unstable with opportunity until this spring semester. I was in the process of applying for graduate school for psychology. The interview process alone for different degrees—MA, PsyD, and PhD for clinical or counseling—was already overwhelming with uncertainty. Hoping and assuming I would get in somewhere also brought two concerns. First, I still had to continue building my professional resume. Second, if accepted, I would only have a few months of carefree days before years of graduate-level work. I had to make the most of this semester professionally and personally.
The first concern was addressed with the obvious: required prerequisite courses and work experience, particularly as a behavior therapist for children with autism and a non-profit research survey operator. Directly getting involved with lives was often mentally draining. I was in the field I studied, but did I want to continue in it? For three summers I worked in a finance department for a water park. Would such a job be more beneficial mentally and financially? The second concern was difficult with a packed schedule. Could I handle anymore?
With a stroke of luck, my questions were answered when a spontaneous samba lesson led me to join a dance formation team. This single activity opened up many opportunities. Learning a cha-cha/hustle number with a group broke my all-work-no-play routine as I socialized with others and physically rejuvenated. More importantly, I returned to the stage after a five-year absence. I loved dance even before I became a dancer at age fifteen. It was always my true love, and the dance team helped me further develop my skills. Doing a 70s-disco performance also helped me grow as it required me to do something familiar, yet new.
Performance night was more than a show; it was reflection. People wondered why I worked so hard in dance. My answer: it was my love and it felt right. I knew then that I had to follow my instincts. I was always interested in psychology and was good in applying it. The time and cost to become a psychologist was expensive, but there was nothing else I could see myself doing long-term. I had tried track and skating, but somehow I always came back to dance.
In the middle of the semester, I finally accepted admission for a PhD Clinical Psychology program for the upcoming semester. This commitment entailed a five-year journey of research and practicum. It would be challenging, but as said by Confucius, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” It was a slightly different path to psychology than I planned for, but like with the disco dance, change meant more exploration and experience.
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Comment by mcoly618


Joined: 5/2/2009
Posts: 472
This is a great essay! I especially loved you quote by Confucius, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

I am the featured blogger coordinator, and I was wondering if you would be interested in becoming a featured blogger for Stage of Life. We'd love to feature your writing, your blog and your experience on Stage of Life. Let me know what you think.
Posted: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 4:19:07 PM
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