Last time I posted, I talked about how I made the decision to go back to school and change career paths. I want to become a mental health counselor. I am still very excited about the decision, but today I am feeling a lot of doubt. Do I really have any shot of making this happen?
Last week, I got word that I was turned down by one of the three schools I applied to. It’s funny, because I had actually decided I didn’t want to go to their program after all…but then they gave me the form letter rejection, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I actually wish I hadn’t gotten the notice until after my next school interview – because it really shook my confidence. Logically, I know that I was never guaranteed to get into the program. They get 100s of applicants and were only selecting 6. I’m a great human being, but I’m not necessarily top 6 of 100s.
I just got home from a group interview from a second school. In that interview, every other applicant was already in the field! For every question, they could speak to how they’ve already encountered it professionally or how they’ve been trained to. Then there’s little ol me. I work in a completely different field. Most of my experiences related to therapy are related to my own personal therapy journey. Many of the reasons I think I would be good as a counselor are related to my mentoring within sobriety – which I have no desire to even discuss publicly. The other candidates seem to already know exactly what they want to do, what will be involved, and how to articulate it. Meanwhile, my social anxiety was alive and kicking in a way I haven’t seen in over a decade. I just couldn’t get the words out of my mouth.
I don’t believe I did great on the group interview. Maybe, it’s just a case of me needing to know what a group interview is like. After all, I’ve never been in an interview with other candidates before. Or maybe, I’m not far enough along to really deserve to be there. What gives me the right to decide to go into this new field with little to no experience in it? On the other hand, this is a field where there is a shortage of professionals AND an increase of patients. Why is it so damn hard to get into a program when you’re willing to cast aside a successful career to get involved and help?
I should hear back from this 2nd school at the end of the week. I’m either going to get great news… and then can start planning for how I will tackle social anxiety on a weekly basis while role playing and presenting things in front of groups of people LOL…or I’ll get bad news and then have to reevaluate what I’m going to do differently. Either way, I know it will all work out in the end. It always does.