Thursday, May 23, 2013

Big Questions, Big Decisions

Yesterday morning, I was laughing about how hard it was going to be to do work with only a few days between me, vacation, and a trip back to Oklahoma.  I'm sure everyone will be thinking I skipped out early when I called in sick today.  I am, sadly, legitimately sick.  Playing hooky would have been a good idea, but I couldn't be that lucky.  I am incapable of doing nothing with a day off, though, so I thought blogging would be a great idea. (Don't worry, I'm not here to complain about my ailments.)

Our summer program starts next week, and I'm sure it's going to get very hectic, but I'm going to be more diligent with my communication via blog and newsletter.  I think the more pressure and less time I have to do things, though, the more I will get done.  It seems to be a trend that when I only have one thing to do, I can procrastinate for hours, but when I have a million things, they all somehow get completed.

I've been thinking a lot about my future lately.  Not my immediate future, but the big questions, like where am I going to grad school?, what kind of facility do I want to work at?, what things am I willing/unwilling to sacrifice?.  Okay, so maybe they're not super huge questions, but they are pretty big.

For all who are interested, these are some insights I've gained into my future, since I got to Murphy-Harpst.  You may not know that the US-2 program is also supposed to include some vocational discernment, which I have been doing.

I've never felt comfortable in a hospital setting, so I always thought that I wanted to work with outpatient services.  I've now realized that there are a lot of options in the middle, and that's where I want to be.  I think a lot can be done when you have access to everyone with whom the child comes into contact, and you can make a bigger influence than your one-hour session allows.  So I want to work at some residential facility for kids, check.

I have been searching through universities offering PsyD programs, because I know that I want to do clinical psychology, and I want practical, hands-on experience.  I'm sure some PhD programs offer that, but it's core to the PsyD program, so that's the direction I'm seeking.  When I first started searching, I looked at the "Top PsyD Programs" list, but then I realized that maybe I didn't need the top program; maybe I just need the program that is right for me.  I want to be close to some form of home, so the Southwest and Southeast would be ideal.  My searches placed these programs at the top of my list: Baylor, Denver, Regent, and NOVA Southeastern.  They all have their pro's and con's.

Pro: Between home (OK) and my sister (Texas A&M), Div 1 school (campus life)
Con: Extremely conservative, Extremely difficult to get in (Accept 7 per year)

Pro: Beautiful location between home (OK) and aunt and cousins (Loveland/Fort Collins), Methodist theology school with certificate options
Con: Snow, cold for 6 months, higher cost of living

Pro: Virginia Beach (semi-close to friends in Durham), lower tuition costs
Con: Not as highly ranked academically, higher cost of living

NOVA Southeastern: Fort Lauderdale (beautiful weather and plenty of fun things to do)
Con: Not as highly ranked academically, higher cost of living, not close to many friends or family

So I started looking for facilities like Murphy-Harpst and realized there are three within 20 miles of the University of Denver, so it's definitely in the lead right now.  I'm a little stressed about the whole application process that I have to start this summer, but I'm looking forward to the great options I have for my future.  Thank you to everyone who's been helping with my discernment...

My big decisions are small compared to those in Oklahoma who are now asking where they'll live since their homes have been destroyed, where they'll work since their businesses were destroyed, and where to start rebuilding.  My prayers go out to all of them.

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