It’s official: I got accepted into the Master of Counselling (MC) program at the University of Calgary. It’s a three year, part-time, online program. When I was in first year undergrad, I was already thinking about grad school. I remember attending all these seminars about how to get into grad school and constantly calculating my marks to ensure I was maintaining a good enough GPA to one day apply. I finished my undergrad degree in exactly four years, and I worked incredibly hard in my last two years to get the best grades.
Initially after I graduated, I was planning to apply for grad school after two years and work in the mean time to gain more experience. During those two years, I was still such a noob at counselling. Then Jon proposed, and we decided to commit the following year to all things nuptial. After we got married, I thought about returning to school, but Jon asked me to hold off for a year so that we could enjoy married life in the same city together. I’m so glad he did because our first year of marriage was really something (read about it here).
Why else didn’t I apply after two years? The timing wasn’t right. Even though I love counselling, I was still unsure about the direction of my career. Did I really want to go back to school? Working is so much easier, and I like making an income. I also thought about applying for law school or getting an MBA, but the thought was more or less motivated by money. Basically, I wasn’t entirely sure about my future, and I wasn’t going to apply for grad school if I wasn’t 100% confident in what I wanted to do.
It wasn’t until the beginning of 2013 that I was approached with the opportunity to co-facilitate a women’s group. This experience really helped me to grow as a counsellor, and it deepened my understanding of therapy. Naturally, I started doing more research on different graduate programs, and by May 2013, I registered to take a prerequisite course in preparation for my application. I started my application in September 2013, and the deadline was December 1st.
Since then, I’ve been anxiously waiting for the results. Yesterday afternoon, I received the offer letter for admission starting September 2014. I can’t even begin to express how I happy I feel. Although I met all the requirements, the program is highly competitive due to limited enrollment capacity, and the acceptance rate last year was only 18%, which means they rejected 82% of applicants. @_@
To be honest, I had a strong application. With my grades, in addition to great work experience and glowing recommendation letters, I knew I would be the perfect candidate for the program, but what if 18% of applicants were better than me? For months, I agonized over the idea of not getting in. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be. Maybe this isn’t the right time. Maybe I’m not good enough.
In the midst of all my fears and insecurities, God remained faithful. I have always been very in tune with God’s calling in my life. I still don’t know what I was thinking when I switched out of psychology and applied for addictions counselling instead, but I know it was God leading my life. When I finished school, I got a great job, and I know it was all God’s provision. Even now, as I process the reality that I’m going to grad school, I know it is His doing once again.
Nothing we accomplish in life is achieved completely on our own. I have so many people to thank for my success, but I mostly want to thank my parents, Jon’s parents, my siblings, Sonny, Jon, Lisa, Gary, Carla, Jessie, Sarah, Derek, and Nathalie for their help, support, and encouragement throughout the application process.
Last, and most importantly, I want to thank my awesome husband for always encouraging me to follow my dreams. Yesterday, when I received the news, I called him and started crying over the phone, and all I could hear him say was, “I knew you could do it.” Even if I thought I couldn’t do it, it meant more to me to know that he believed in me. He knows exactly how to calm my doubts and reassure me that I can do anything. Nothing touches my heart like knowing he’s proud of me.
It’s still sinking in that I got accepted. Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you continue to follow this next chapter of my/our life.