Paralyzed with fear. That’s how I have felt at times during my last semester of my master’s program. This may be a little over-dramatic, but sometimes paralysis (not literally) is a reality in grad school. This is the first time in my life that I have not had the next couple years of my life planned out, and frankly, it’s frightening. After high school, it was understood that college was the next step for me, and while at my undergrad I realized I wanted to be a counselor. Since being a licensed counselor required a master’s, I applied to graduate school and got in to William and Mary, securing the next two years of my life.
Now, there is no set sequence that I am to follow and I feel almost overwhelmed with all of the options I have and the choices I have to make. I could go on to a doctorate program, but wouldn’t be the right fit for me at this time in my life. Maybe in the future, but I would like to get some professional experience under my belt before I try to tackle a doctorate degree. So that eliminates one option...for now.
The other option I have is to land a job after graduation. I have been looking, and there are jobs out there, but it’s just so stressful sorting through jobs and applying for ones that I can see myself enjoying. In the end, I’m going to need a job no matter what it is, but I don’t want to sell myself short after all of the time, money, and hard work I’ve put in to my education.
To top it all off, I am deciding if I want to stay in Virginia or if I want to move to California to be with my family after graduation. That, in itself, is probably the most stressful thing because there are so many different factors that go into a decision to make such a big move (where will I live, where will I work, etc.).
Looking at the bigger picture, I am grateful that I have so many different options. It’s the first time in my life that I don’t know where I’ll be in three months, and while it’s scary, it’s also very exciting. I’ve come to the realization that I have to have faith that everything will fall in to place as it should and I need to enjoy the remaining time I have in my master’s program. It’s been a fun ride so far, and it’d be a shame to ruin my last three months because I’m terrified of what’s in store for me after graduation. I’ve just gotta breathe, have faith, and enjoy the ride. No more paralysis!