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“It took me nine years to graduate from undergrad. And when I was finally done, I was like, I am never going back to school. That was horrible.

Originally my plan was to be a teacher. My first job out of college was a preschool teacher. Then I really started thinking about it and I was like, I really want to be a therapist. I want to be the part of people's lives where it really can change their life – and make things a lot easier and better for them.

And you can't become a therapist without at least getting a Master's degree. So one year after saying I was never going back to school, I applied to the graduate program at Pepperdine.

I started at the beginning of the pandemic. So far academically I'm doing a lot better in graduate school than I did in undergrad. Even though it's a lot harder, it's what I'm really passionate about. Which is why it gets so anxiety-inducing. I know I must do a good job because you can't just not pay attention in school when you're learning to be a therapist and expecting to do a good job as a therapist. I need to be learning this stuff because I'm going to be working really sensitive parts of people's lives, and I need to be as well educated as I can be.

So far I have a 4.0. I've never had a 4.0 in my life.

That’s including all the mental health struggles that I've had – because they definitely have not gone away. I've had plenty of depressive episodes, and I've dealt with a lot of loss. I've had family members and close friends die every quarter.

But that’s the good thing about being in school to become a therapist. All your professors are therapists, so they are beyond understanding and so willing to work with you and help you. If you need to sit there and Zoom and cry – they are there for you. That has been the most amazing part of it. Knowing that your professors have your back, and that if you fall down or fall behind, they’re there to help you get back on track – it makes all the difference in the world.”


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