Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The End of the SLP vs Theology Roller Coaster Ride

Your eyes don't deceive you, this is an actual (new) blog post. Hooray! lol. Sorry about the almost two week "cone of silence." I had a couple of major exams to do and last week was my busiest week of the semester (I lost track of how many assignments were due in the span of 4 days) so I spent my week studying, finishing my research paper, and completing the rest of my assignments. To say that I'm mentally exhausted at this point would be somewhat accurate. I was actually much more tired at the end of last week but I have a very easy week this week so I'm getting my second wind, academia-wise.

I had some major decisions to make during the past two weeks, mainly having to do with academic and career paths. As many of you know, I've been considering finishing out this semester and leaving the COMD program because of how stressful it's been and how it's affected my health. My weight is back down to the underweight range and the anxiety I worked hard to get under control over the summer has returned. It's just not a pretty picture. The anxiety has been manageable (thanks be to God) but I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to keep it from turning into a full blown panic attack.

I'll admit, I had a good cry two weekends ago. I was so overwhelmed and I felt so pressured that I felt I had reached my breaking point. I couldn't listen to the recorded lecture of a particular professor without crying. I'd been bottling up the majority of my stress for so many weeks that I just needed the release... and my usual method of release is to have a good cry. I cried, went to bed early, and woke up feeling better. I think the reason for that was because I decided to leave everything in God's hands.

Have you ever worked so hard on something (giving it more than you've ever given anything else) to have that thing not work out for you? That's kind of the boat I'm in right now. I've worked hard in this program (sometimes not eating and/or sleeping because of how much needs to be done) and to be barely passing the courses is kind of a blow. Unfortunately, I'm not the only one in this program who is going through it. I've spoken to a number of my classmates and they're also experiencing this crushing blow to their self-esteems (their words, not mine) during the semester. Many of us want to leave the program because of issues we're having either with professors or the classes themselves. Please pray for us all!

... and now I've gotten off track. The decision of leaving everything in God's names and not worrying about things is taking a lot of pressure and stress off of me. I had my chat with Him in Adoration last Friday and I'm at peace with having a plan B and a plan C in case the SLP path doesn't work out for me. After all, I'm not going to be doing what I want but what He wants of me; His will, not mine.

Plan A is to continue (and finish) this program if I pass this semester... and I'm going to need a lot of prayers as I heard one course next semester is the hardest in the program. Upon completion the program, I'll be finishing the rest of my fieldwork hours (a total of 110 are necessary in the state of CA) through an accredited school and then applying for my license as soon as I finish them. I'll work for a little bit before applying to grad school for my Theology M.A.

Plan B: If I don't pass a class or two this semester, I'll be leaving the COMD program at USU. It's not worth the stress or the $ I'm paying to have to re-do certain classes with certain professors. If this happens, I could possibly take the Spring semester off and apply to grad schools for my Theology M.A. I've already been in contact with a couple of schools so I'm prepared to take that route if I need to earlier than originally planned.

Plan C: If I want to continue the SLP path (and I feel like I should, despite everything), the plan is to apply for entrance at a local community college that is accredited by the state to get all the fieldwork hours and the rest of my courses completed before I can apply for my license. The only downside to this is that it would take me an extra year or so to complete as the program at the local CC is different than USU's and thus has different requirements. I'd be applying for my Theology M.A. after a brief academic break to work.

As you can see, I'm still pursuing my Theology M.A. no matter what happens. When I (briefly) considered taking a leave of absence this semester and considered going straight to grad school next autumn, I felt at peace. Just thinking that I'll eventually go for my Theology M.A. makes me incredibly happy. I once thought I wouldn't go down the teaching route but I've had a change of heart.

If I learned anything from this program (other than homegirl can handle so much more stress than I thought possible), it's that I work well with children and I love teaching them. I tutored after graduation (for my first BA) and I've work with children for my labs and observation hours for this program and I absolutely love it. I definitely have the patience to teach (SLP is, in a weird way, all about teaching as well) and I'm a big kid at heart so it's a good fit for me. I'm also open to working in youth ministry (yes, I can feel some of you cringing but I don't care). The bottom point is that I feel like I'm meant to work with youth (either children or teenagers). Whether that will be in the SLPA or Theology fields remains to be seen.

So... there you have it. That's the end of the SLP vs Theology roller coaster ride. I should also say that I'm also open to working in the "Theology" field is the opportunity presents itself before I finish either program. I know I'm meant to work in the field so it's really up to God when He thinks I'm ready for it. SLP has always been a small detour to getting there. God is in control and I have absolutely no problem letting Him guide my path.

Even though I'm a lot less "must ace everything... must ace everything..." than I was prior to these decisions, I am still giving the rest of the semester / program all my best so I need to go study for my upcoming Audiology exam this Friday. Prayers, please? Thank you in advance!

And that's all for now. I need to go pick up mom from work, then finish cleaning the house, and then doing the lectures for Audiology. I will try to blog again before the week ends. :)

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

1 comment:

Brian Mood said...

While I was reading this post, I felt that you are indeed finding solace in what God has in His plans for you. I am glad that you showed humility and expressed such ache and frustration in your endeavors. I am proud of you. I will keep you in my prayers. Good luck!