Sometimes it seems like only yesterday that I was moving into my dorm room freshman year. I remember wondering how my things were going to fit in the small space that had been allotted to me. I remember wishing for my parents to stay, just a little while longer. I remember thinking that I already had my whole life planned out, although I was nervous as to what the next four years would bring.
And here I am, four years later. Last Tuesday I completed four years of undergraduate coursework. It’s hard to believe that those years are behind me. Over the past week or so I’ve spent a lot of time looking back on those years. There are things I wish I would have done differently. There are moments I wish I could go back to, take myself by the shoulders, and remind myself that I am stronger than I think I am. But I think what’s really important is that I can see that I’ve moved forward from the place I was in those first days of being a college student. Sometimes it feels as though I’ve only taken a few small steps, but other times I feel as if I’ve grown by leaps and bounds.
In many ways, I think my decision to pursue a career as a bilingual speech-language pathologist is a hallmark of almost all the ways I have grown in the past four years:
- It forced me swallow my pride. I was always the person who knew exactly what she was going to do with her life, and changing my mind meant admitting that I had been wrong. Not to mention the fact that my decision meant adding more semesters on to my undergraduate career, so I didn’t graduate with my class.
- It allowed me to recognize my own strength (something that I struggle with often). Deciding to pursue a career as a bilingual speech-language pathologist means delving into graduate school in a field that I have very little background in. It means pushing myself out of my comfort-zone and opening myself up to the fact that I will be unable to attend graduate school in Ohio.
- It means that I’m learning to truly embrace who I am and who I strive to be. This career is perfect for me, combining language, teaching, and helping others. To me, dedicating myself to this career means dedicating myself to the people (hopefully children!) I will eventually work with in therapy sessions. I hope I’ll be able to serve them in any way I can to help them improve.
So even though I don’t have the diploma in my hand just yet to officially document my growth and achievement, I know I’m on the right path. And that’s what really counts.