Admission, Qualifying Examination, Dissertation, Internship: The four main challenges for a graduate student in clinical psychology. So far, I have cleared three of these hurdles. Tomorrow morning I learn whether I have successfully secured the fourth.
For those of you unfamiliar with the process, I will provide a brief run-down of the high points. I must complete an internship in order to graduate from my program. Internships are assigned through a process called the Match: Students apply to various sites, sites conduct interviews, students rank the sites in order of preference, sites rank students as well, all of the information goes into a computer, and the computer tells you where – and if – you will be going on internship. It sounds simple, but there are more graduate students than there are internships, and so every year a section of applicants are frowned upon by the computer and have to re-apply. Last year I was one of those unlucky applicants.
Tomorrow is Match Day. Tomorrow morning I will receive an email that states whether or not I will be scrambling to find a program that still has an opening or (heaven forbid) doing all of this for a third time this fall.
The application process is incredibly draining, both financially and emotionally, on top of not even guaranteeing you will receive an internship. After everything else, if the computer program decides it does not like me, I still will not be able to graduate. All to be able to go in a profession that emphasizes self-care above all else. (I have said it before and I’ll say it again – psychologists are hypocrites. Myself included.)
Today I have a self-care plan to help me keep my sanity in light of the fact that there is nothing I can do about the result I get tomorrow and it could go either way. I’ll go more in depth about my application experiences at another time, and I will post a brief entry tomorrow with my results. To everyone else who is waiting on their results: Hang in there and good luck!