It happened five years ago as I sat in a crowded library study room with my fellow classmates at the University of Sheboygan in Sheboygan, WI. We were studying for our final exams for one of the toughest classes we had ever taken. What is this class you might be asking yourself? The class I am referring to is an Introduction to Psychology. After weeks of hard work and dedication I passed this challenging class with an A. This was one of my proudest achievements. I didn’t know back then, but psychology would become a huge part of my life. After graduating from UW-Sheboygan with my associate’s degree, I transferred over to UW-Oshkosh.
I was struggling to pick a major so I decided to take a class designed to help students choose a major. One of our assignments was to take the strong interest inventory test. My number one result was a family/marriage counselor. After taking a few psychology classes I decided this was the right major for me. Fast forward two years as I sit in my social psychology class. One of my friends describes CARE to me; CARE is an internship at UW-Oshkosh that stands for Campus for Awareness and Relationship Education. The internship was the best 6 months of my life.
I learned a lot of information about domestic violence and how I can help friends and family who are dealing with this pain. CARE led me to volunteer at Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Center. Since I enjoy helping others and I want to pay it forward, I would be a great fit for the counseling program. To begin with, I intend to major in school psychology to help contribute to the diagnosis, assessment, intervention, and program development for young children. This has been inspired by growing up with a sister and brother who both have been diagnosed with learning disorders.
Throughout my childhood, I saw my sister struggle through elementary school. I wanted to do whatever I could to help. It was a tough time, however, she was diagnosed by the school counselor with a learning disability. Through hard work and a little help from the counselor putting her in the right classes, she passed elementary school. She is currently going to be a senior in college in the fall. My little brother has had a similar issue. He is currently in elementary school and was diagnosed with a learning disability just a few years ago.
He is starting to do a little better in school now that his school counselor has gotten him into the right classes. I hope to help children who are in the same position my brother and sister were in so they can someday go to college and find a career they want to do for the rest of their lives. The most important criteria needed for becoming a school counselor are my strengths. Excellent listening skills are a big strength I bring to the counseling profession. This strength has been developed through years of schooling and on the job training.
I currently work as a phone representative, and it is very important to have good listening skills to know what the customer is asking for. A second strength I possess is being a friendly person. This strength has been developed through having good influences throughout my life. I use this skill every day at work and in my personal life. The third and final skill | possess is being an excellent communicator. This strength has been developed through years of schooling, giving presentations in school, and on the job training. I have to have effective communication at my job in order to convey what the customer needs.
On the other hand, strengths are important but challenges have helped to make me into the person I am today. My challenges range from battling anxiety and depression, to maintaining my grades throughout high school and college. When it comes to anxiety and depression, I met these challenges by getting help from a counselor. We worked together to form a plan that would help me overcome these challenges. I had a new homework assignment every week to help me get to know myself better. I met my challenges for maintaining my good grades by studying hard, asking for help when needed, and following directions for all of the assignments given.
Next, being in a counseling program there will be times where I have to work with a diverse group of people. Throughout my undergraduate program, there were many times when I had to work in diverse groups. The most important part about working in a diverse group is treating everyone as an equal. This can be hard at times, however, there needs to be an understanding that not everyone in the group will have the same ideas. Having a diverse group is great though, because the group can look at things from more than one point of view. While at Capella University, I have had to write papers on working with diverse populations.
The main ideas for the papers were to do research on the population in order to get a better understanding of the population. At the practicum in Atlanta, my partner was an African American woman from Africa. We each drew four pictures that would describe our lives and have to figure out what we were trying to talk about. It was an eyeopening experience that showed us even though we were brought up in diverse populations we all still had some similarities. I think it is important to find similar traits between diverse populations so a trusted relationship can develop. Equally important is my dispositional strengths and shortcomings.
When something is important to mel become very passionate. Helping people is something I’m extremely passionate about. I like to think of myself as a kind person. Being a psychology undergraduate, thinking logically is another strength I possess. I can be disorganized at times which is a shortcoming I’m working very hard to overcome. Sometimes when I’m put in awkward situations I try to use humor which can be a shortcoming. When I have a lot to do I can easily get distracted and flustered. I’m working on improving these shortcomings through work and school. This leads to the substantial time investment a graduate program requires.
For the last year, I have had to balance a master’s online program and a full-time job. This will be no different than what I have been doing the last year, with the exception of face to face classes. Once I schedule my classes, I will start to make out a schedule to follow. Having a schedule will teach me to be better organized. I will make sure to make time for reading and studying for exams, and I will reward myself when I follow my schedule by giving myself some time for things I enjoy, such as playing my guitar or watching my favorite television show for an hour.
Without well-qualified school counselors, children are likely to fall behind in school. Some of the skills I possess fit nicely into school counseling, however, there are some skills I will strive to improve upon. Helping the children of the future is my biggest goal. I have the strength and determination to succeed in this career path. By completing the graduate program at Lakeland I will be able to obtain a license in school counseling, which would help fulfill all my goals and dreams.