On the becoming of a psychologist

College has been for me much like school: long, tedious and to a certain extent unnecessary. Or maybe it’s the bitterness of having dragged out the last two years of it talking. I just watched the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy, in which a bunch of college kids die on their graduation day. The valedictorian’s speech started with: today is the first day of my life. Because up until then all she had done was learn, and now she was ready to live. I can’t say for my part that all I did was learn, but it sure wasn’t the kind of “living” American kids know as their college years. I have been preparing for the future. And it may have been different – in school or in college – had I met more people who share my world. But I have met the few true friends, and that’s always been enough for me.

I don’t want to put my education down in saying that it was all for nothing – that isn’t true. But it wasn’t until I passed the test in clinical psychology that I really felt a meaning and pride in what I had accomplished. Until then it was just the pressure of cramming stuff in my head and fearing a bad grade. Now, after five and a half years of study, I feel confident in what I know and relaxed in the thoughts about what I can do. The day I never thought would come has passed: I handed in my thesis, officially bound and all, after having worked at it for 1 2/3 years. All I have left is one oral test – more a formality than anything else – and I will be a diplomated psychologist. Talk about being able to exhale, finally! My learning and forming days are far from over, but a chapter of my life is definitely coming to an end.

Just like in the finale of Scrubs (I know, I live through series, I’m sorry), I have decided to not live in the past too long this time, but to look into the future. I’ve had many definite sections in my life and each time I was angry or sad to have to leave something behind. I was so focused on commemorating the ends that I almost missed the beginnings. This time, I’m looking forward and can’t wait to see how my therapist formation will start and I plan to be fully aware of it. I sent in my application today – contract signed and everything! Big step! And since we don’t get a big fancy graduation party, I at least want to celebrate my achievement with a party this Saturday. Let the rejoicing begin!

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