Post # 1
Ok, here is the situation:
I am engaged and have been for going on six months, without a wedding date. I am a senior getting a degree in Communication Disorders. I was looking to go to graduate schoool in Speech-Language Pathology… I got accepted to my current school, but it’s a terrible program with a horrific clinic director who makes people cry and feel suicidal. I can’t go here. My fiance is in St. Louis, and I applied to Fontbonne there, for both their SLP program and their Early Intervention in Deaf Education (deaf teaching, kinda) just for fun. I also applied to SEMO, which is about two hours away from St. Louis.
So I just found out today that I got rejected from Fontbonne, which was the first choice because it could mean we could get married by next March at the latest because we will be in the same city. I have already rejected my current school’s acceptance because I will kill myself if I have to go here. They are making decisions about the other program on Monday… and now I have NO idea what to do.
My options are to take a year off, work somewhere (I have no idea what to do with my degree! My mom thinks a secretarial job or something is below me), and maybe try again next year. Or, if I get accepted to the deaf ed program, we can get married next March, but then I probably will never go back to SLP, which I enjoy but sometimes feel luke-warm about. I am just very lost. Also, if I get accepted to SEMO, we would have to put off the wedding and be apart for another two and a half years, which we really don’t want to do for our relationship’s sake, and my mental health.
Also, if I don’t hear back soon we really have to make a decision because October is getting closer and closer… I wanted to put this in wedding and college but I just wanted to get any feedback about any of it, from either perspective. Also partially a vent because I have great grades, and thought I would get at least waitlisted, not completely rejected (I have a 3.62 overall, and a 3.8 in my major… not good enough apparently) :/
Post # 3
Have you looked for jobs with your degree? I find it hard that you wouldnt be able to use it for at least SOMETHING.
A lot of us have had to work jobs in the meantime just to buy some time before school or an actual job works out, you know? Working and getting the wedding out of the way might be a good thing before starting school again, you know?
Post # 4
I think you should start looking for jobs and really consider taking a year off from school.
Also, remember the application process is not just about grades – job/intern/volunteer experiences, campus involvement, etc. all play a part. And some schools only have so many spots to give out. I know in my program, they had 3 spots. I was lucky enough to get one, but there are hundreds, sometimes even thousands applying. With the economy the way it is, more people have been going back to school as an escape. In that case, you as a college student may be pitted against folks who have years of experience in the field. Don’t get down about yourself.
And as far as getting a job beneath you, I spent a few months making fast food and scrubbing dirty toilets and I have a Master’s degree (okay, I’ll have it officially in about a month 😛 ). You do what you have to do. Life could be worse than having a secretarial job. And you never know what kind of connections you can make. Stay positive.
Post # 5
Even if you volunteer or work a semi-menial job (classroom aide, lunch aide, some assisant job) at a school, a school for the deaf, or a speeth pathology office, that’s better than working outisde your field or going to a program that makes you want to die, lol.
My Fiance and I are going through a similar thing, trying to get our grad programs organized, staying in the same city together, etc. It will all work out though! I know people hate to hear that, but if you network til you’re blue in the face and perhaps consider some unpaid or intern work, I’m sure you’ll be able to find something.
I’m taking a year off to do City Year; maybe consider something through Americorps, or if there is a deaf volunteer group similar to that, maybe look into that. It may not pay very well (or at all) but it would look great on your resume!
Post # 6
I think you should consider taking some time off and working. The work experience will help your application on the next go-around, and you shouldn’t settle on a graduate program that’s not 100% in your field if you have little interest in pursuing that as your career. Grad degrees should be something that you’re really passionate about!
No job is ever beneath anyone if it puts food on the table and a roof over your head.
Post # 7
Have you talked to career services or the alumni office? They might have some information about what other graduates in your major did as their first jobs after college. I’m sure they would be happy to talk to you.
There are also some online graduate programs in Speech Language Pathology, e.g. at the University of Northern Colorado. You could move in with your fiance and still work on your degree.
Post # 8
I agree with PP…look for a job in your field and reapply to Grad school in a year. You are fortunate in that your degree is more specialized than a standard Liberal Arts degree…I think if you search and network, you can find something entry-level and related to your field. This will help build your resume, as well as build your Grad application. And I cannot agree more with what @abbie017 said. No job is EVER beneath anyone if it helps you provide. Unfortunately, I see so many of peers settling for jobs that are “beneath them.” The reality is, we grew up seeing our parents and even people slightly older than us graduate and instantly find fantastic jobs. This is no longer the case for the bulk of us. Keep your chin up. You seem ambitious and goal-oriented, and that will pay off for you in the long run.
Post # 9
Take some time off and get experience working with special education students/deaf students (I know they are not the same) in the state that you see yourself living in for a long time. A teachers’ aid, speech pathologist’s assitant, and an intern are all good starting points. So is a public school secretary (trust me on this one). Then enroll in some courses in a masters program close to you part time. If you work for a school, they will pay for it. It doesn’t matter if it is the best program or exactly what you want, because schools rarely know or care where you went to school when they hire you.
If you like your work and enjoy working with students, then apply for other jobs in the system and continue your program. If you don’t love it, apply for a different job or a full time program.
I work with a lot of teachers and have worked for a district, the number one mistake I have seen is people taking out debt to pay for an ed degree and getting a degree without work experience. Teaching is hard (especially sped/deaf and it is worth it to make sure it is the right field for you.
And seriously, go for a public school secretary. It is the one position in a school that you will learn more about education than any other. I do research in schools and my first point of contact is always the secretaries. They know so much more than anyone else in the building about how the system works. As a plus, my secretary made more than the PhD researchers in my office.
Post # 10
@GoldfishPie: Good advice, same as some of the others… trying to find a ‘menial’ job in my field could be more helpful than something else.
@PeaceLoveLaughter: My field is difficult because it is so incredibly specific… There is a postion that I am eligible for in my ‘field’, in my state, a speech implementer or an SLP assistant. This would be somewhat easy to find especially in the rural areas. However, I live in St. Louis City, in which there is a separate Special School District situation. St. Louis is also saturated with SLPs, and while I will try and see if I can find one of these kinds of positions near me, or even with a commute, it will be more difficult than had I stayed here in Kirksville :/. Being a secretary or something in a clinic, or a paraprofessional, is probably my best bet.
@Pollywog: That’s good advice, with the school secretary… also as a note, I don’t think any of these jobs are really ‘beneath’ me, that’s mostly my mother talking and frustrating me! I will look into that. I have been thinking that I may do the Early Intervention degree if I get in, but if you had more specific information regarding deaf teaching that would be great! The degree is only half deaf teaching, you start out that way but the coursework is really meant to prepare you for early intervention, working with parents or in similar situations.
Thanks for all of the advice! It’s been a stressful time, and it doesn’t help that I’m not completely sure about anything. I will continue looking into things, and I won’t be going into debt. NOTE: I think only about 10 students get into the special degree at Fontbonne (Early Intervention in Deaf Education) and all students get a full ride, plus you can work for a stipend! So that is a big plus.
@AprilJo2011: I will look into that online degree too! Thanks! 🙂
Post # 11
I just wanted to add that while this seems like a huge frustration now, it will not be in the grand scheme of your career and life. I agree with others about working and reapplying next year. Also, I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. One thing I have learned about life is that no matter how hard you try, you just can’t always make perfect plans, and life works out better that way sometimes. All we can do is what seems the best at the time…so if you don’t like any of your options for grad school at the moment, take some time, work, and get married! My life has taken a LOT of turns due to illness (obligatory be grateful you are healthy), and you just have to roll with it. It will work out for you how it is supposed to.
Post # 12
@BlondeMissMolly: Thanks for that advice too… I’m sorry about your illness, I know that life is crazy but I also believe that everything happens for a reason and that God can use even the worst circumstances for the best. I believe it did work out for the best (explaiend below) and you are SOO right, what was unbearable stress last month, not knowing, doesn’t matter now. That’s a great thing to learn and remember.
As an update, I got rejected from SEMO’s SLP program, but accepted to Fontbonne’s Early Intervention in Deaf Education. I read more about this program, and realized that doors to deaf education are being opened in my life and heart and doors to SLP are being shut. I may change my mind later down the road and go back to school for SLP, but at this time I think that I’m being called to go to school for deaf education. I knew as soon as I heard the news that it’s what I’m supposed to do! Thanks for all of the advice… I know that much of it was to take time off, but my personality wouldn’t allow that. Plus even kinda wanting to do this program, I was beyond tempted… I will be finished for the most part and be able to get a job starting next August, the program is free and if I do work-study in the Fall I get a $500 stipend every month for the next year. Plus this means wedding date is set for next March, the 23rd to be exact! 🙂