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Graduation was meaningless?


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It's been about 2 months since I graduated with my B.A. in Communicative Disorders and I felt like it was almost meaningless to me. When I started the program, I enjoyed my classes and felt good about heading towards the SLP direction. However, senior year came and everything sort of went downhill when the classes became harder and the work was more. I failed an exam along with a number of other students in a class and the professor (who some students called the "god woman of SLP" of our department faculty) told us outright that maybe we weren't fit to be SLPs and suggested that we think about going into different careers. Considering how long I was in the program, I was devasted becauase I really believed her. So, for months after that I looked into other careers but still can't figure out what to do. I feel so lost. I keep thinking that all those years in school studying speech was such a waste of time. The same professor was at our department ceremony. I was seriously considering not even attending the ceremony, but I did it for my parents. The whole time I was sitting during the ceremony I kept thinking that it was all a joke, but it made my parents happy since they never went to college. I hate that I ended my undergrad feeling so unhappy and lost about where I'm going or what I'm going to do. I don't know what to take from my graduation experience. How do I look back on it with good feelings?

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It sounds like maybe you're dealing with depression, which is very common but fortunately treatable. I would encourage you to speak to a therapist/counselor who can actually do something to help you. We can be all sympathetic (it sounds like the professor is a real piece of work and what she said is totally unprofessional) but we're not able to provide any kind of mental health treatment.

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I failed an exam along with a number of other students in a class and the professor (who some students called the "god woman of SLP" of our department faculty) told us outright that maybe we weren't fit to be SLPs and suggested that we think about going into different careers.

 

 

This exact thing happened to me! I failed a quiz and had a professor suggest that I should change my major! I just don't understand what is it with professors in this profession thinking that if a student fails one exam they should throw their life ambition away! And I will never understand why a profession that pays so low inspires sooooo much competition <_<. I took a good year off after undergrad before applying to grad school and I'm glad I did. I did look into other fields as well but decided I had way too much invested in this major and pushed forward. Ultimately, I applied and was accepted to graduate school. If anything that experience gave me a thicker skin and I'll never again let someones words affect me to that point, especially if I know I'm doing things for the right reasons. Clearly this professor was wrong being that I did end up getting into graduate school and I will become a speech language pathologist (obviously someone decided that I was suited for this field)  :D. Keep your head up and don't let this professors opinion of you shatter your confidence!

Edited by JaimeSLP
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Keep going amvat. The people in this profession are not all as rude as your professor. I won't tell you that graduate school is any easier. It is A LOT harder. There's much more work involved. They want to see how well you can handle yourself and push through adversity. Speech pathologists don't get paid little, but if you were looking into schools then the pay is fairly lower than private or hospital placements. If I told you about all of the deterrents people at schools placed before me then we'd be here all day. Everything that means something is hard to achieve. The key is to remember that the hardest part about any profession is getting the degrees and certifications. Afterwards, you will be able to enjoy life and look back at all you overcame. Graduate school is meant to break you, so be prepared for more adversity. I have been through ups and downs, fighting depression and stress all year. But I have completed 1 year of grad school! To add to all of my stress I am also a mother of a 3 year old girl. There's no such thing as sleep. There's no such thing as a life. There's no such thing as time. Things could be worse though. Just keep pushing and realize you aren't alone.

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I respectfully disagree with the idea that you may be depressed.  I think you put all your efforts, time and commitment into something that seems to have not worked out and are now questioning what to do with your life/career.

 

I think it is TOTALLY normal to feel frustrated, upset and confused at this point.  We are just seeing one aspect of your life in this comment so of course if these bad feelings have not gone away and you're constantly feeling awful, of course try to lift your spirits.

 

If you are only upset about your career and school experience.  That is completely understandable and normal especially having just graduated from an intense program that didn't benefit you at all so far. 

 

Have you considered going to a career counselor?  Or take some time off and travel. Taking some time to be reminded that most people treat you like a human being with feelings will help shake away the bitter associations of your jerky teachers and college experience.

 

I know it's a tough spot to be in, hang in there you'll find something great to do in life.  I'm an older student and haven't gotten my career yet (gotta go to grad school lol) but the point is you have a lot of time, even though it may not feel like it.  And to me your feelings  100% justified, they don't scream depressed at all to me!  

 

Your feelings are a product of your awful negative school environment.  I hope we can all do our part in changing those horrible experiences in the future and holding Professors accountable for how they treat their students!!

 

Good luck with everything :)

Edited by CBG321
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Amvat, if this is your true passion please do not let anyone tell you that you can't! Please don't give up. I almost gave up my junior year and switched majors into family and child development and while I was in those classes I felt like I wasn't sure what I was going to do with this and I was sad because I didn't think I was good enough to get into graduate school for SLP (because of the constant saying of grad school is impossible to get into), but I decided to go back into the Com. Dis. major and do everything I could to bring my GPA back from a 3.2 to a 3.7 and apply to grad school! and I did it! I am so proud that I pushed myself to go for what I truly wanted and not be my own worst enemy! You prove that person wrong and prove to yourself that you can! Good Luck to you in any direction you choose, just choose what you love and what makes you happy!

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I agree with the above posters. Do NOT let anyone deter you from accomplishing what you want to do. In high school, I was told by a science teacher that I was not meant to go into any science based field, let alone college. This man even told my mother at conferences that I should not be encouraged to pursue higher ed. Interestingly, I was a student who received decent grades. If I would've listened to him, I would not be where I am today. I was on the honor roll every semester of college, and low and behold, this "non-college bound student" graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in psychology and a biology minor, EMT certification, many other accomplishments, and was accepted into 4/6 graduate schools after completing a post-bacc year. For me, being told I couldn't do something only made me push harder. There is nothing better than proving someone wrong who isn't able to see your potential. 

 

I also know of a professor who has told students to quit pursuing SLP. This professor told a girl who got a B on an exam that SLP is probably not for her...Single grades do not define students or their ability for success. Instead of tearing students down, professors should offer ways to build students up. There seem to be many professors who don't understand that.

 

Also, graduating college is a big success in itself, so don't downplay that! From one first generation college student to another, you're doing pretty awesome at life thus far! Even if you don't end up in SLP, life has a way of working itself out. Give it time and a little determination and you'll get to where you're supposed to be. 

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Yes, I want to echo everyone saying that you shouldn't let 1 single person tell you that you're not cut out for the field based on one class.

 

Also, just because you're not 10000000000% happy right now doesn't mean you're depressed and should see a specialist. What you're feeling is normal. All you did was stub your toe. People stub their toes. When the feeling subsides things will be easier to handle.

 

Take things easy on yourself. You just graduated and that is SO awesome. Do something that you really really really enjoy, and hang out with positive people who understand your position (it might not be your parents, but you would know best). From there, do things one day at a time until you feel ready to tackle a bigger future; you got this.

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Amvat, if this is your true passion please do not let anyone tell you that you can't! Please don't give up. I almost gave up my junior year and switched majors into family and child development and while I was in those classes I felt like I wasn't sure what I was going to do with this and I was sad because I didn't think I was good enough to get into graduate school for SLP (because of the constant saying of grad school is impossible to get into), but I decided to go back into the Com. Dis. major and do everything I could to bring my GPA back from a 3.2 to a 3.7 and apply to grad school! and I did it! I am so proud that I pushed myself to go for what I truly wanted and not be my own worst enemy! You prove that person wrong and prove to yourself that you can! Good Luck to you in any direction you choose, just choose what you love and what makes you happy!

Espresso Shot; how did you get your GPA from a 3.2 to a 3.7?

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I graduated May 2014 with a B.S. in Communication Disorders. My dream now is to get into graduate school and become an SLP. I was thinking about retaking a course or two from my undergrad career that didn't have the grade I wanted. Has anyone done this? Was it worth it? What else can I do to strengthen my grad school application?

 

Thanks!

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  • 1 year later...

I'd like to thank everyone who replied to my post (in 2015). It's been over a year since I checked for responses because I didn't think that anyone would reply! I came back to check out of curiosity and couldn't help but cry my eyes out! I am going through a tough time right now: didn't get accepted into any SLP grad school and just re-evaluating my life. However, reading everyone's responses gave me encouragement and some hope to hang in there. I am going to take another year to try to transform myself before applying a second time around. I'm glad that we have such a supportive online community. I want to wish you all the best for your futures! 

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2 minutes ago, amvat said:

I'd like to thank everyone who replied to my post (in 2015). It's been over a year since I checked for responses because I didn't think that anyone would reply! I came back to check out of curiosity and couldn't help but cry my eyes out! I am going through a tough time right now: didn't get accepted into any SLP grad school and just re-evaluating my life. However, reading everyone's responses gave me encouragement and some hope to hang in there. I am going to take another year to try to transform myself before applying a second time around. I'm glad that we have such a supportive online community. I want to wish you all the best for your futures! 

Funny...about ten minutes ago I just stumbled upon a video about Lea Michele on Facebook talking about her failure before landing her role on Glee...she said, "the greatest success I had came from a door closing." She learned Spanish for a role that Broadway didn't want her for. She also said...it just takes one yes out of all the no's and said never to give up. As cheesy as it sounds coming from a celebrity, she's totally right. 

After being told I would have no problems as a post-bacc getting into grad school, I have been rejected 2 years in a row. All those not so good feelings.... I'm right there with you.

But this is what we want for ourselves so take that time to reevaluate everything else but don't give up! I'm taking a bunch of classes in the upcoming months to raise my crap GPA so I can meet requirements at a small number of programs I contacted this week. Programs I had to stay away from due to numbers only. Also, these experiences I'm  having now will make me a better grad student and better SLP than the new/younger grads. So keep going. Keep gaining experience and don't give up! 

Agreed..glad we have a community here that is so supportive!

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19 hours ago, amvat said:

I'd like to thank everyone who replied to my post (in 2015). It's been over a year since I checked for responses because I didn't think that anyone would reply! I came back to check out of curiosity and couldn't help but cry my eyes out! I am going through a tough time right now: didn't get accepted into any SLP grad school and just re-evaluating my life. However, reading everyone's responses gave me encouragement and some hope to hang in there. I am going to take another year to try to transform myself before applying a second time around. I'm glad that we have such a supportive online community. I want to wish you all the best for your futures! 

I was feeling mixed emotions like you were from graduation. I had just received rejections from graduate school and was not sure what I was going to do. So I kept applying to graduate schools for the following year while working an a unrelated field and faced more rejections with a few waitlists that never went anywhere. Between the second time applying to graduate schools and the third I was able to volunteer at an integrated preschool to hopefully gain experience and also boost my application. It helped immensely. After three times trying I can say that I am going to become an SLP! :) Don't give up! I know its easy to try and blame yourself and self doubt. I was blessed to have choices of where to attend but like others said you only need one school to believe you can do it!! Unfortunately I have found that it totally varies but the people applying that year and the choice of schools you try for. It seems like you have a good plan for the future so good luck!

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Whether or not you decide to pursue an SLP career your education is not a waste of time. Grad school will be hard, maybe harder than your senior year. Ask yourself why you are doubting SLP. If it's just self doubt, realize everyone goes through this!

If you're not jumping into a Master's and think you may still want to be an SLP, I suggest getting some work experience, ideally as an SLPA, or volunteer. This will either reignite your passion or show you that you may want to pursue something else - either way it will be ok! 

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On 5/3/2017 at 11:01 AM, Alicia124 said:

Whether or not you decide to pursue an SLP career your education is not a waste of time. Grad school will be hard, maybe harder than your senior year. Ask yourself why you are doubting SLP. If it's just self doubt, realize everyone goes through this!

If you're not jumping into a Master's and think you may still want to be an SLP, I suggest getting some work experience, ideally as an SLPA, or volunteer. This will either reignite your passion or show you that you may want to pursue something else - either way it will be ok! 

Hi Alicia124, it is self-doubt. Ever since the experience of the professor telling me that I should think of another career coupled with grad school rejections, I'm starting to doubt my abilities that maybe I'm not going to succeed as an SLP. I tried to get good grades (received mostly A's and B's) in my undergrad. My overall GPA is 3.47 (as a community college transfer student and four-year combined), but my GPA for the last 60+ units at four-year-university is 3.61. Sometimes I think it was a waste because we can't do anything with only a bachelor's in SLP. The field is so specialized. I didn't apply to grad school right after graduation. I took two years to get my feet wet working as a behavior technician for an in-home autism program. I've learned a lot from this experience and got to learn more about what I like and dislike career-wise. I've been told that I should become a BCBA at my work, but I know enough from my work experience that treating serious behavior is just not my thing. I've also been told that I should look into becoming an elementary school teacher, but I like working one-on-one more. As I'm waiting another year before I can apply to SLP programs again I'm also stressing myself out about backup plans in the event that I don't get accepted the second time around. So, I'm in limbo right now. I have two backups in mind and one of them actually included SLPA. The university that I attended did not have an SLPA program and if I were to become an SLPA in my state it would be a year and a half commitment (I've spoke with two community colleges in my state) before I can actually start working as an SLPA, meaning more time and more money (which I don't think I want to do). And universities in my state only offer their SLPA programs to their students. The other option is to work at the same job while look into online courses that I could take to raise my crap overall GPA. If I don't think I'll get in again I think I'll just give up an head into another career path, which I'm totally clueless about. 

Edited by amvat
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@amvat You remind me so much of myself right now! Your GPA is NOT crap and does not mean everything. My GPA is much lower than yours and I got in. I applied 3x. The first time, was definitely a learning curve, the second time I shouldn't have applied because I didn't do anything differently than the first time, and the third time I really got down to business and it worked. I'm happy to talk to you more about this. Would you mind sharing more about your applications: stats, schools you applied to, etc. Feel free to PM me if you'd rather. Graduate school admissions is a really funny business, and while I am not an expert, I do think I have some good advice. 

What state are you living in? Are you sure you need more courses to get your SLPA license? I know it can vary from state to state, but both states I have worked in accepted a bachelors, and you did not necessarily need an SLPA certificate. The hard part for me was getting observation hours as I did not get them during my undergrad. If you did that will help a bunch!

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  • 1 year later...
On 5/5/2017 at 8:09 PM, WannabSLP124 said:

@amvat You remind me so much of myself right now! Your GPA is NOT crap and does not mean everything. My GPA is much lower than yours and I got in. I applied 3x. The first time, was definitely a learning curve, the second time I shouldn't have applied because I didn't do anything differently than the first time, and the third time I really got down to business and it worked. I'm happy to talk to you more about this. Would you mind sharing more about your applications: stats, schools you applied to, etc. Feel free to PM me if you'd rather. Graduate school admissions is a really funny business, and while I am not an expert, I do think I have some good advice. 

What state are you living in? Are you sure you need more courses to get your SLPA license? I know it can vary from state to state, but both states I have worked in accepted a bachelors, and you did not necessarily need an SLPA certificate. The hard part for me was getting observation hours as I did not get them during my undergrad. If you did that will help a bunch!

Did you have any trouble getting letters of recommendation from professors? One of my LOR didn't want to write me another letter my second time around and now idk if my other professors will either. That is the main reason why I am not applying again. 

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I had a terrible time in my undergrad program. At the time, I didn't know it, but I had dyslexia and was not diagnosed until 2 years after I graduated from undergrad. I was told by not one, but THREE professors AND my adviser  to "highly consider" a different career path and that I would "never be accepted into a grad program", because I was not a "strong enough candidate."  It was the hardest thing I ever had to hear. I sulked for about 2 years. Finally, I thought screw it I am good enough and will make into grad school. Fast forward 5 years, I was accepted into not one, but TWO grad programs. My GPA and GRE scores are not what one would consider exceptional either (GPA: 2.99 GRE: V=146, Q=143, AW=4). I was almost driven more to push harder because I was told I was not good enough. You can PM if you want to know how I did finally get accepted. 

However, my point is you can't let one person tell you that you are not good enough. Screw them. If you are passionate about becoming an SLP then you can't let one person opinion of you get you down. 

 

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14 hours ago, Stephanie022594 said:

Did you have any trouble getting letters of recommendation from professors? One of my LOR didn't want to write me another letter my second time around and now idk if my other professors will either. That is the main reason why I am not applying again. 

I want to encourage you that if SLP is something you really want, you should 100% apply again. Do not let letters of rec deter you. Try asking employers who know you, and professors that may not be CSD or SLP related but know your capabilities. I didn't have a single LOC from an SLP or professor of CSD. I was accepted into 3/5 schools. I honestly thought that would be my biggest downfall because I didn't connect with my CSD professors. So it is not a necessity. If this is what you want, go for it and don't give up!

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