Amanda in her own words….
Please state what school and program you are participating in and why you chose that school/program.
I am attending Longwood University in the Master’s in Counseling Program with a focus on School Counseling. I chose Longwood University because they are a school with a good reputation and I also live in the area.
What are some of the difficulties you have faced and how have you or how are you overcoming them?
The main difficulty I have experienced is wanting to be able to help every single student that I work with resolve the issues that he/she is working through. I have had to come to the realization that this is just not always possible. I also have had to learn that I will sometimes have to leave work at work. I can not bring home everything from my practicum experience and expect it to not affect my personal life.
Describe the journey that made you choose counseling as a profession.
I earned my undergraduate degree from Christopher Newport University in Psychology. I have always known that I wanted to work with people to help make a difference. Upon completion of my degree, I began four years of work as an animal control officer. This experience allowed me to gain confidence in myself and also presented me with an opportunity to teach a high school elective course. While working with these students, I came to the realization that they were not having good experiences with their school counselors. This was when I first began researching master’s degree programs in counseling and later decided to pursue my master’s degree. Throughout the entire journey, I have felt that this was the right choice for me.
What are some of your hopes and concerns for the future as a counselor entering the profession?
I have high hopes that no matter what demands may be placed on me, that I can still make a difference in student’s lives. My main concern is that the profession of the professional school counselor has changed drastically in the last decade and I hope that I can mold and be able to be continuously open to the changes in the profession.
Describe what your world would be like if you woke up tomorrow and everything is just as you hoped educationally and professionally.
If I woke up tomorrow and everything could be as I hoped educationally and professionally, I would have successfully graduated and obtained a job as an elementary school counselor. I really want to work at the elementary level and my professional plan is to work as a professional school counselor until retirement.
Describe your top 3 forms of self-care. (Does it include dessert?)
My top three forms of self care are: 1. horse back riding 2. spending time with trusted family or friends who I am able to have intelligent intellectual conversations with 3. spending time with my animals (4 dogs, 2 potbelly pigs, 22 chickens, and 14 ducks)
Please tell us about research or projects you have been involved in.
While I have been attending graduate school, I have also been working two jobs. Unfortunately, this has not left me with time to be involved in research or projects being conducted by Longwood. I wish I had been able to take part in some sort of research but it did not happen. I have spent the past three years working with elementary students as a Title I Math and Reading tutor.
What else would you like to share?
I am really looking forward to being able to start my career. I hope that I can enter into the field with a fresh perspective and bring a lot of value to the school where I will be employed.
Be sure to visit Longwood University’s Counselor Education website by clicking HERE
Longwood is unique in that they offer five counseling tracks:
School and Mental Health Counseling Track
Mental Health Counseling Track
School Counseling Track
School, Community and College Counseling Track
Community and College Counseling Track