Change

July 24, 2009 at 9:17 pm 1 comment

A lot has happened since I last blogged … and that’s a good thing!

While home on vacation, I did some soul-searching and realized I was on the wrong career path. Yes, I enjoy writing. Yes, I enjoy advocacy. But – and it’s a big “but” – I’d be a lot happier doing something else.

So, I have applied an been accepted into the rehabilitation psychology program at UW-Madison, my undergraduate alma mater. In a nutshell, rehabilitation psychology professionals work with those who have become disabled as the result of physical injury or brain trauma, as well as those who are recovering from addiction or depression, and helps these people reintegrate back into society to live meaningful lives.

This isn’t as crazy a decision as it may seem. I probably should have realized during my senior year as an undergraduate that communications/PR just wasn’t for me. But I didn’t want to admit to myself that all the work I had done up to that point to move to Washington, D.C. and get a job was off-track. I also had not been in the work world and experienced the competitiveness and harshness that exists in D.C.

My job at Public Citizen had some rewards, but the frustrations outweighed the rewards in droves. Bureaucracy, difficult personalities, rejection of online best practices. I dealt with – and fought against – these things every day. Perhaps these problems wouldn’t have seemed so bad had I felt like I was really helping people. But at the end of the day, I wasn’t so sure I was accomplishing that, either. I sat in a cubicle every day, sent out emails asking unknown email addresses to take action on specific issues and created Web pages with the same goal. When I honestly, truly thought about what I was doing on a day-to-day basis, I realized I could be doing so much more to help others, face-to-face, and had the opportunity to change my career while I was still young – and not averse to being a poor student for awhile.

The decision to completely switch gears was scary at first, but every day I feel stronger that I made the right decision.

I won’t be returning to Madison, Wisconsin for good. I plan on moving to wherever my boyfriend is located by the time I graduate (back off, feminists, he’ll be taking input from me on location choices!). But I’d be lying if I said I’m not excited to have a few more months in my hometown with my parents and dog before re-embarking.

So here I am. Twenty-four years old and entering a four-semester program to earn my master’s degree and certification in rehabilitation counseling. And I couldn’t be more excited.

Stay tuned.

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Entry filed under: Quirk.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Collin  |  July 24, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Great! Good for you! There’s a great market in helping peoples’ health. 😉 I just entered my two-year program at La Crosse at 25 and couldn’t be happier myself… unless I was on the Terrace with a brew in hand… which will happen in a few weeks!

    Reply

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