Grad School

- The Experience, Lexi Pope ’21 

Last year if someone had told me I would not only have applied but been accepted into one of my top choice graduate schools I assure you I would not have believed them. While this pandemic has certainly taken away many good things from my senior year, it also provided me with something even bigger. During the past year, and summer, I had time I never had before. For the first time since I can remember, I had nothing going on and nowhere to go, and nothing to do other than learn to be with myself and sit with my own thoughts. This turned out to be the most productive time for me. Through my remote summer internship working for The Crisis Text Line, I discovered that I wanted to pursue my studies in Psychology. However, rest assured–– this was not something I woke up one morning and decided. It was a slow, long process of researching, thinking, and more researching. 

My first and biggest piece of advice to anyone considering graduate school of any type is this: READ A LOT. Reading and fully understanding what exactly it is that you want and desire to get out of your degree is crucial. I was fortunate enough to have my dad in the medical field who provided me with the resources to talk to different mental health professionals about their own schooling and experiences. Beyond this, taking advantage of your professors is key! Reaching out to past professors, current, or even some that you haven’t had, but are interested in chatting with. All of my psychology professors have been more than willing to talk about their own graduate school experiences whether they have their Master's degree, Ph.D., or Psy.D. BUT–– before talking to too many people, it is very important that you already have your own opinions formed and remember that only you know you and what you want. Each person you talk to will have their own perspectives and opinion, however, take everything with a grain of salt as everyone is different.! If I had gotten caught up with what others were telling me, I am not sure I would be on my way to get my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology right now, but I can tell you I know for a fact that I made the right decision for me.

The application process isn’t easy, but it is very doable! Be ready to stay organized and make lots and lots of lists… check out my to-do list if you need help getting started!