Thursday, May 23, 2013

Post-Graduation Thoughts

Monday I walked onto stage to receive my third diploma. High school, college and now graduate school. I was thinking the other day about just how many years I've been sitting in classrooms, writing papers, and constantly worrying about completing assignments on time and well. All of that is officially over, and this time,  for a while.

Phi Alpha Honor Society Induction Ceremony

When I graduated from high school I knew I'd be heading off to college since that's what most high school graduates do. All my friends did. Once I finished my BA in Psychology, it felt like I had just completed this huge accomplishment. I felt so relieved and thought it would be a while before I would venture into school again.

I was wrong.

A few months later I applied to Biblical Seminary for their counseling degree and attended my first semester of graduate-level classes. I did very well, but knew that it wasn't right for me and I discontinued the program after the first semester. Immediately after, I applied to several other graduate programs for counseling and after a co-worker recommended it, Rutgers for social work. I didn't think I'd ever switch from Psychology to Social Work, but a few months later I was preparing to begin a 3-year long adventure into graduate school at Rutgers University for social work.

And I thought college was challenging...

Receiving my Certificate in Violence Against Women & Children

Laughing because my parents are super embarrassing :)
The whole group of students who completed the certificate program
These past three years I spent countless hours in classrooms, doing rigorous coursework and extensive papers. In addition, I had to quit my full-time job and worked two different part-time jobs during the duration of the program so that I could simultaneously complete over 1,100 hours of unpaid internship experiences. For the past three years I've felt like I was constantly learning and constantly under immense amount of stress, but now,

I'm done.

Masters in Social Work 
Monday when I walked across the stage for the 3rd time it felt different. Not everyone goes the extra mile for their master's degree (although it is becoming more and more common) and not only did I get through the coursework, but I truly tried my absolute best and managed to come out on the other side on the dean's list. Looking back, all that hard work, stress, and tears were all worth it and now I can look forward to what God will use my education and experience for. I had to learn to rely on friends, family, my husband and God for so much strength and affirmation these past few years and I am extremely blessed to have had that support.

my super supportive parents

my handsome hubby who is also a huge support
Me & my Mom
Me and my Mother-in-Law
I'm telling you this not to brag about my accomplishments, because I honestly still feel as though my accomplishments pale in comparison to many of those I truly look up to and admire. I tell you this because I hope that I can inspire you all to follow your dreams. I can tell you that although it might be challenging and even painful, on the other side life is bright, refreshing and full of opportunities.

Do you have a dream you've yet to pursue? Do it. Do you have a dream you're working towards? Hang in there. It is worth it. Life is far too short for us to wait for the "right time" to do something big. Now is the time to take hold of your dream and go for it.

For now, I am so excited to find out where my education will lead me and who I will have the opportunity to serve and empower. I truly believe that education is one of the most powerful tools and with it, we can all do great things, if we choose to.

No comments: