Monday, September 22, 2014

Goodbye SLP MS, Hello Theology MA?

In the past couple of weeks I've been feeling like maybe I shouldn't continue down the SLP path. I'm not going to quit the program. I'm going to see this degree through. I don't quit so easily. Do I get discouraged? Yes. To the point of quitting? No. I will finish the Bachelor of Science degree and do my hours to get my SLPA (speech-language pathology assistant) license. However, I feel as if maybe I shouldn't continue down the Master of Science path.

I'll be completely honest with y'all... I only went down this route because my family needed the financial stability. If we didn't, I would've probably been doing my Theology MA right now. 11 months ago, I wrote:

I'm only doing this in the meantime (the financial crunch in an expensive city is real, y'all) and that I will pursue a Master of Arts in Theology when things are a little more financially stable (and I am more prepared to teach or do something with the degree)... I feel like this is where God wants me now.
While I don't regret taking this path, it's become clear that the M.S. program wouldn't be the best fit for me. Before I go into why, let me just say that I still firmly believe that I'm in the right field (for now)... but that I would be content being an assistant. I won't get to officially diagnose the clients or create their treatment plan but I would still be able to carry out the treatment plan that a fully licensed SLP created. Most importantly (for me), I will still be able to help my family out financially, which is why I did this in the first place.

Here's why I don't think the M.S. would be a good fit for me. First and foremost, my health is being affected in a big way. A year ago, I was on the mend. I was getting healthier. I was gaining weight after those stomach problems I had. All that progress? Gone.

I'm going to break one of the cardinal girl rules; I'm going to tell you my weight. I'm between 115.6 and 117.8 most weeks when I have classes in this program. I went up a couple of pounds on my two-week summer break; back down the second week of classes. Now, remember that I'm 5'7" so I should be between about 120 and 135 for my height. I was about 128 lbs. when I was at the CINO college a couple of years ago. That's my normal weight and has been for most of my adult life. Yes, I wasn't happy at the CINO college but I also wasn't losing weight.

The stress I feel in this program is literally making me sick... and this is just the post-BA, pre-MS program. Imagine if I went onto doing two more years of the M.S. program. No, thank you. There's a "joke" that SLP grad (and even post-BA, pre-MS) students are on anti-anxiety meds for a reason. It's just a stressful field. I do enjoy the hard work and I love working with the kids... but, for once, I need to put myself first. It's hard for me but I know I need to.

I'm so happy that I worked through my PTSD symptoms months ago so I haven't had any panic attacks or anything of the like. I did have major anxiety last week but that was stress-induced and I was still able to function with it. However, I don't think I want to push myself further in terms of seeing how much stress I can handle before I have an anxiety relapse.

There is one bigger factor in my potential (though seemingly decided) decision to stop at the B.S. for SLP and go onto my Theology M.A. next: the desire in my heart to teach Theology and/or work for the Church in some way has never burned brighter than it has in the past several weeks. It sounds a bit dramatic but I feel like my heart just aches for it. I know my vocation is (sadly) not as a religious sister but this intense desire to serve God has grown exponentially and I feel like getting my Theology M.A. is the next step to doing just that. This is something I'll be discussing with my spiritual director when I see him this week.

I feel like I had two big revelations over the last couple of months, both vocation related. As always, I'm keeping the vocation vocation part to myself. No one is surprised there. lol. As for my career/vocation: there is a big desire to go receive my M.A. from a faithful Catholic college/university. I had ruled out teaching only because I didn't think I was able to do it with my anxiety but I no longer have that fear; I can do it. I can no longer ignore that desire out of fear of not being knowledgeable enough, not having the courage to do it, or the fear of not finding a job (because I do know jobs for Theology MAs are scarce.)

Does this mean "goodbye, SLP M.S. and hello, Theology M.A."? It just might. I still need to pray about it, talk to my SD, and see what happens. I do plan on spending more time in front of the tabernacle (I over-study so I need the breaks anyway) so we'll see what He has in store for me. I don't want to make too many plans until I am certain of what I will be doing.

Anyway, this was just me thinking out loud. :)

That's it for now. I have to go do something productive... like studying for Statistics... or looking to see if I even need Stats if I decide to apply to a Theology M.A. program in the next couple of weeks. ;)

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


Cristina T said...

Oh my goodness! I can't wait to see what's next. I'm excited that you are following your heart (even though the push could be because of all the health related issues associated). And Statstics made me cry every day.

Emmy Cecilia said...

I was torn between Theology and SLP last year and only chose this path because of the $ crunch. But now I can see the light at the end of this tunnel I can focus on Theology. Or it was more, I'm learning to let go and trust God to provide now.

Anonymous said...

Oh lady---I know how hard it can be to change plans, but a healthy and happy Emmy is much better than a stressed and unwell Emmy. Sometimes you have to try for something before you realize, "Yeah, no, I need to do the other thing." And it's so hard to let go and trust in HIm to guide and provide for you---but He does! It's something I'm forever relearning. ANYways, I know you can totally finish your BA and get the certifications you need. And I'll be right here in Austin, waiting for when you so up to get your theology MA. XD

Emmy Cecilia said...

Thanks, sweet pea! And, yeah, I'm okay with the change of plans. At least I tried, you know? Thanks for the encouragement... and I will see you in a couple of weeks! ;)