Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Appeal Of Going Back To School...

I went to UNO today to talk to the head of the Counseling PhD program. A very nostalgic feeling came over me being back on that campus. I got my bachelors in psychology at UNO and I have so many great memories from my college days at that school. Nothing has changed. The campus looks exactly the same and feels exactly the same except for parts of it still being closed since Katrina. I'd love to be back there as a student.

The meeting went well. I'm less anxious than I was before. The thing that worried me most was that a big part of the application leads you to believe that you need experience as a counselor in the field before you can apply as a PhD student, but the lady I met with told me that they do have a few students go straight through into the PhD program from a Master's program and encouraged me to apply. She also said that the majority of the students in the PhD program work either full time or at least part time, so I wouldn't feel so guilty about putting off working...I could actually make money while going to school. She did recommend that in the last year or two that students typically don't work while focusing solely on their dissertation. Basically she told me not to be discouraged by my lack of "real world" experience...that they look at the individual as a whole and consider everything...they assess how the individual will fit into their program to see if he or she will be a good fit with their values. So I feel good about it and I think I will apply for the spring. She told me about the interview process and if I make it that far, I promise you their will be a nervous breakdown at that point :p But hopefully I can hold it together for the interview itself if and when I even get to that point.

I'm glad I met with her...it really sounds like something that I want to pursue. I'll continue to think on it before I make my final decision, but as of now, I'm leaning towards applying for the spring...and of course, still looking for a job....what a fun process that has been :/

18 comments:

Bookfool said...

Oh, I don't think you'll have a nervous breakdown. LOL You'll do fine. I'm glad you're finding options. :)

Chris said...

I hope not! She said the interview process is about a half of a day long...you're interviewed by the entire faculty, do a role-played counseling session in front of the faculty, and then respond to a proposed ethical dilemma...yikes!

I'm glad that some kind of options are opening up too...it was starting to look a bit dreary for awhile there.

DesLily said...

I have faith in you!

... so do your poppets!

Chris said...

Thanks Deslily....the poppets seem to approve ;)

Stephanie said...

Go For It!! Seriously, you'd be great! And we are all here for you to bitch and moan to when things get tough!

Chris said...

Thanks Stephanie...oh and you can be sure that there will be plenty of bitching and moaning should I be accepted ;)

cj said...

Congrats on taking the first step, Chris! I'm with the others in thinking you'll do fine and I envy you. Going back to school is a wonderful idea. I've been thinking lately of trying to do it myself but it'd have to be online if I did.

NO is such a wonderful city, btw. I cried after Katrina thinking about the loss and I've only been there once!

cjhill

Chris said...

Hey CJ, Thanks for stopping by! Go for it! If you want to go back to school, I think you should. I was worried about the whole money situation, but the lady I spoke with today told me that most of the students in the program actually work full time.

New Orleans is a great city, it's just sad that nothing's getting better here. The main reason I'm going back to school is because there are no jobs down here in mental health! There's a huge demand for mental health professionals, but nowhere for us to work post Katrina. So I'm going to hopefully get my PhD and start my own practice...I'd love to see this city come back to how it was, just don't know if I'll see that in my lifetime.

Literacy-chic said...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Just kidding. If you really want to do it, go for it! After all, I'm not one to talk! And you seem significantly less likely to be burned out in the first year or two than I was! ;)

And as for the no working while writing, well, some of us have to work, even if it's an assistantship, so don't let that stop you... There are so many, many things to do instead of write a dissertation--teach, have babies, move, take extra classes, blog, shop on eBay, clean house, blog, go swimming, read books, blog... You get the idea! The procrastination possibilities are endless, and go waaaaay beyond working! ;)

Literacy-chic said...

P.S.--I definitely admire your goal of helping fill the need for counselors post-Katrina. I find it remarkable that there isn't more support for that kind of initiative. I would probably suggest looking beyond UNO--if only for geographical variety--but with your specific goals, it is probably the best place for you to be!

Chris said...

Hey N, Thanks! I've thought of looking in other states for a change of scenery, but the UNO program is a very well known program and well respected program from what I've researched. And it fits exactly what I want to do...though I'm still looking at other programs. I just really like this city and even though it's offering me nothing, it's still hard to leave...

I've thought about you throughout this whole process! Trust me, if I get in you'll be getting plenty of "please empathize with me" emails ;) How's the dissertation coming along by the way?

Carl V. said...

Glad you enjoyed it. I'm sure it does take alot of the edge off of the stress of returning to school to have some idea now of the process and what it might look like specifically for you. Good for you that you are investigating things so that you can make the best decision for yourself.

Chris said...

Carl, I think the best thing about the PhD program is that it's a very individualized experience. So I can do things at my own pace. I think that would make all the difference in the world!

Literacy-chic said...

It does sound good! Oh, and I know someone who highly recommends The Tale of Despereaux--he just finished rereading it, actually! ;)

Quixotic said...

All the very best with whatever you decide to do/end up doing, Chris!

Chris said...

Thanks Quix :)

Stephanie said...

Hey....since I can't be there....you'd BETTER be going to the Voodoo Festival in NO this year. Rage AND the Pumpkins are going to be there! 2 of my favorites!!

Chris said...

Oh I'll be there Stephanie! I'm excited!