Some Advice...

Posted on September 25,2010 by jyalofmspp

I put together a list of things that are helpful to be aware of if you plan on applying to MSPP for your doctorate and if you’re planning to move from out-of-state:

Thoughts on Entering a PsyD Program…

Doctoral programs are TOTALLY different than an undergrad experience, both socially and academically. I am only on campus 2 days a week, as opposed to every day. If you went to a larger undergrad where you could hide and sit in the back, it’s harder to get away with here.

There are no groups established solely for meeting friends ( such as a sorority). There are, however, other groups to join at MSPP, like a kickball team, and the Student Coordinating Committee.

Ages vary more than they did in college. However, I’ve found the average age LOWER (around 26) than I thought it would be.

People are experiencing many different stages of life. This can make it harder to relate to others who are not on the same “level” as you, but also make for a really dynamic group of individuals, friends, and future colleagues.

I went straight through school; undergrad, master’s, now getting my doctorate. That’s a lot of school. I always thought I was able to emotionally handle my school programs, but am finding that studying the field of psychology is emotionally draining. I think it’s extremely important to fight for the supervision you deserve, speak up in class if you’re in need of advice, and seek out your own personal therapy.

Self-care is major! I have a lot of activities I really enjoy doing. It is hard to balance which ones have to go. What is definitely staying is a Friday or Saturday (or both) night out with friends. In terms of things I can do on my own, I’m finding yoga pretty relaxing. Biking is always great. Maybe next month I’ll pick up my guitar again. Whatever I’m in the mood for!

Time management, time management, time management…I know it gets annoying hearing how important it is, but it’s SO true. I didn’t organize my time well last week and found myself doing some homework when I was in Cape Cod. Not okay.

Thoughts on Moving…

The concept of “home” and “summer vacation spots” will probably change. After spending a weekend in Cape Cod, I am seriously unsure how I can go back to Atlantic City.

If you live somewhere where you need a residential parking permit, becoming a MA resident and getting your car registered can be a total pain. I spent about a week at the RMV!

Finding new doctors, etc., can be challenging, but you can always ask others who their primary PCP is.

It’s so important to keep in touch with friends!

All of this being said, I thought it would be this amazing, easy transition with limited bumps in the road. It wasn’t. It takes time to get adjusted. That being said, I have survived the move (obviously) and successfully completed my first week of classes, which consisted of Wednesday (on campus 8:30 am- 7:30 pm) and Friday (8:30-10:30 am). Initially, the idea of Wednesday seemed daunting and semi-impossible. I had a small mourning period for the loss of my Wednesday night yoga class (healthy, beneficial to life), and reality TV time (not healthy?) Although I was nervous about how I’d stay focused throughout the day, I found my classes really interesting and I remained engaged. Thanks in part to the excellent professors, and 6 cups of coffee. It was also nice to have breaks in between class, as I plan on using some of that time to do homework. I found the hour breaks a great time to re-coupe and get some work done that I’d otherwise have to find time for during the week. This leaves more time for…a life. Which, by the way, I intend on keeping this upcoming semester…