“Get your master’s”, they said. “It’ll be worth it”, they said. Well, I did it. Two and a half very long years later, and I finally completed graduate school. I’M DONE! It is the most bittersweet feeling. For one, I made lifelong friends in this program that will be at my wedding and in my life forever. I got to spend weeks in Atlanta, GA. I made relationships at my internship that I will never forget and it’s hard to say goodbye. My professor was a truly amazing person and counselor. But holy crap – I am so glad to be done!
The last nine months have been by the far the hardest nine months of my life (fair to say I’ve never had a child). I didn’t complain about it much, most people don’t even know what my grad school entailed. Working 12 hour days, plus weekends. Dropping to part time so, goodbye income. Writing papers and discussions daily. Having class til 9 pm after an 8-8 shift. It’s fair to say that it made me a distant friend. It made me an exhausted fiancé. It made me an irritable coworker. It made me a broke daughter. Working 8-8 every day made me not want to come home and do laundry or cook dinner. I couldn’t visit south Jersey because of assignments or work. I didn’t have time for facetime calls or long texting conversations. I checked in less. I called less. At work, I got angry. I got careless and became a mean counselor. I was tired. But – everyone stuck it out with me and for that I love you and thank you. (Seriously shout out to my fiancé for being the most perfect man I could ask for).
And tonight, I had my last class. I said my goodbye’s to my classmates one last time. Before class was over, my professor wanted to share some things about each of us, and how he perceived us after nine months. Of course he wanted to start with me…great. He said “Ashleigh, you have a fighting and tenacious spirit that I hope you never lose. You’re not afraid to say what needs to be said, and we need people like you. You’re not afraid to do what needs to be done for these kids. And I don’t mean this to come off as you’re not nice, but girl you have a fight in you, and you will accomplish any goal you set your mind to”.
Damn. Thank you. I needed to hear that, and I’ll remember that forever. I won’t lose my fight.
Well, I’m back! I’m in a hell of a lot of debt, but I finally have my life back with a sweet piece of paper that says “Professional School Counselor”. I can finally focus on things I love like friends, family, working out, and of course wedding planning. They were right, it was worth it.
Now, it’s my turn to do laundry and cook dinner. I think I’m overdue.