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This is sort of a long story so thanks in advance to anyone willing to read/help.

I graduated from PSU in 2015 with a BS in Communication Sciences & disorders, decided to take a break and work before applying for my Masters. Unfortunately, my mom was unexpectedly diagnosed with stage iv cancer and I ended up having to quit my job to be a full-time caregiver. She has since passed away and it's time for me to get moving again but at this point, I don't really know where to start.

I feel like getting a letter of recommendation from a professor I had 3 years ago (at such a large school) is going to pretty much be useless, despite how well I did in their classes.

My GRE scores are average so I'm considering re-taking.

I'm extremely hesitant to apply without feeling competitive but I guess I'm unsure of even where to start to give myself a fighting chance.
As of now, I've started reaching out for either shadowing or SLP Aide opportunities just to get my foot in the door with something related.

What would you do?

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Okay, first of all, I am sorry for you loss! That's absolutely terrible for you to go through.

I understand about the letters of recommendation; I was pregnant, married and in my late 20s at the time I went through undergrad. I actually opted to NOT level and obtained a secondary bachelor's degree in CDS due to a recommendation from a school-based SLP who is now a clinic instructor. Anyways, I was known as "the pregnant one" because I was literally pregnant both years of CDS courses. I did well in the courses, but still, they remembered me as "the pregnant one". If you're able, it may be worthwhile during the class break, preferably after Christmas/New Years and before classes resume, stop by and give some face-to-face interaction. Remind them of who you are, see if anyone can chat for a moment, etc. May help to reach out via email prior to dropping by, but if you can, offer to drop by or skype call so they can put a name to the face. That is a key for a lot of people.

In the meantime, research the schools in your area, see what the incoming graduate class average was for GPA and GRE and whether or not there are minimum requirements. That will be make or break for some folks right there. If you need to re-take the GRE, I highly suggest studying the ETS books. They make the test and I found those the most helpful.

I currently work as a SLP-Assistant in TX. The graduate program I am starting in May requires me to have my SLP-Assistant license, as well as a school-sponsorship/placement. I'm in my 4th school year in the same district, so I've got that covered. I know my grad program (Texas Woman's University) is the only one who requires that, but my experiences and knowledge I've gained on the job will help out a LOT in grad school. A good friend of mine is about to complete the program and she told me that working as an assistant prior to grad school is a huge help. If anything, you will get your feet wet and everything you learned in UG will come back!

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Most professors are understanding. Just remind them of when you took their class and what your grade is. You could even mention why the delay occurred due to your personal situation.

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