It has been so cool to read Teri and Tamara's stories. Although I know them both well, I seem to always learn something new when we blog about our own personal journeys. I look forward to Joleen's as well. Natalie's Story
I have always loved learning, whether it be formal education or a simple self-help book. However, after college I did decide to take a break from school and get some "life experience" education in the field to see exactly where I wanted to specialize. So when I went to Graduate School, I felt a little rusty next to my younger, fresh out of college peers. I remember feeling shocked at orientation when they shared with us the stats of how many would actually make it through. I remember thinking, "Ok- you got in- let's just see how far you can make it. Let's make it through first semester." That was the first step in reaching my goal- taking it in small pieces when it looked impossible.
I remember studying for mid-terms and literally crying while I was trying to memorize things. My sister walked in on me and couldn't believe how upset I was. I told her it was impossible but I just had to do the best I could and hope for the best. I gave it my best and actually got A's in my 1st semester classes! I was so excited to keep going. Then 2nd semester rolled around. YUCK- Neuropsyc! In my Graduate School we had to pass every class with a B or it was a fail. I am a HORRIBLE test taker and this class was based entirely on our tests. Needless to say, I "failed" with a B-. I honestly thought about dropping out of school. I had NEVER failed a class. But I decided this was just a set back and that I would have to double up next year and re-take the class. I had to look at the big picture- being a therapist, not a Neuropsyc doctor! I can't believe I almost quit! I ended up getting an A the second time around. I look back today and can't believe that I actually almost gave up on being a therapist because I would have to retake one class and I didn't believe I could do it. Persistence and learning from your set backs are both so important when you are trying to reach goals.
It helped me tremendously that I had a great support system while I was in school. This is a must to reach your goals! I ended up graduating with very good grades, wonderful recommendations for jobs, and found a job being a therapist almost immediately. I am so glad I broke it into small pieces, stuck with it, and did not give up. Look at me now!! :)
*Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.