So, where’ve you been?

My last ever exam, the day I finished my studies, was on July 9th. That evening I gathered with a few good friends at a lovely café outside, drank, talked, laughed and tried to feel accomplished and adult-like. That still doesn’t work, but maybe once I turn the dreaded 25 I’ll stop feeling like I’m merely cleverly disguised as an adult. There wasn’t much time to let the diploma-feeling sink in anyway, since just two days later The BF and I left for our Cretan vacation. Since I’ve already described that in detail, I’ll move on to two weeks later, when we came back. A buttload of paperwork was waiting for me, since I had pushed off a lot for after the exam. Mainly there was the issue of my therapist formation. June 9th was the date of the interview at the institute and we were supposed to get an answer within two weeks. Needless to say, I spent the next two weeks running to the mail box every morning to check. And of course, the one day I didn’t is when it came. I was accepted for the fall course. Yay! This was such a huge relief! We had heard that there were about 50 applicants for about 10 spots and nobody could (or would) tell us what the criteria were. But I got through! I got a spot!

After clearing the matter of getting a spot at the institute, there still was the matter of getting a spot in a clinic. Because the formation has several parts, one of which is a year in a psychiatric clinic, for which we have to apply separately. We had gotten a  list of clinics that cooperate with the institute (you can’t just pick any which one), which I had combed through before hand. I narrowed the pick down to places that were less than 100 km away (since I have no car) or could be reached by train within less than an hour. Then I looked at the homepages, asked friends and generally tried to gather information about what kind of clinic they were. Astoundingly many of them worked after a system that looked completely out-dated to me. So in the end I had my three favorites to which I wanted to send an application. Before that, I met up with a friend in the same situation. I thought the more info, the better. Boy was I wrong. This friend of mine totally freaked me out. She said there were hardly any spots available, so I could forget actually picking where I wanted to go. I should feel lucky if I got any job at all, even if it ment spending a year in a clinic I knew I would hate. Fun times. And after calling through the list, she turned out to be right. One guy actually said they had way to many applications already – even though they had no available spots – and since I was the youngest, I didn’t even need to try. Nice. But I did anyway and managed to get invited to two job interviews after all. Both for UNPAID clinic jobs. And when I say unpaid I mean I would be getting zilch on top of diddly squat. No money for the work, no money for lunch, no money for transportation – BUBKES. And yet the situation we therapists-to-be are in is so FREAKIN MISERABLE that I was actually glad to have found these jobs. Both were in clinics I had done internships in and never wanted to return to again. So much for that. One had a broader concept, different patients, more responsibility and a more interdisciplinary team – but would cost me 1.500 € more a year and 1h30 a day in transport. So I took the other.

A day after the second job interview, I headed to my family in France, where I spent two weeks. I was kind of dreading this, since I know I get tense every time I meet back up with them and usually come back with more problems instead of feeling rested and refreshed like some other people do after a visit back home. But this time it went surprisingly well. I managed to talk to my mother and we spent time actually doing stuff, like visiting a farm with my little sister, who got to ride on a pony and learned how to make butter. We also went shopping, of course, but this time I actually had stuff to buy, and we also finally managed to clean out my old closet. Where I found lots of old memorabilia and other crap I couldn’t believe I had kept. Among other things, there were the old Michael Jackson videos. I watched them all, of course, but sadly the best one was broken. Never the less, it turned my little sister into a fan, too. The biggest surprise, though, was to hear that my big sister had actually taken up driving lessons. She was learning how to drive – in Paris. Can’t wait to see when she gets her license.

[To be continued]

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