As I sit here writing this, I am two days away from spring break in my third year of college, (thank God because I'm on my second mental breakdown of the week). My current major is Psychology along with my minor in Criminal Justice and concentration in Forensic Psychology and let me tell you, as someone who eventually wants to get a PhD in Psychology one day, this stuff isn't easy. This year I've really gotten into my core classes for Psychology. Behavior Modification, Child Forensic Psychology and more, of course. But sitting here in my junior year, even though I've known since I started that college isn't easy by any means, I've started realizing how truly exhausting and difficult it can be. Especially if you've got a dream that takes you through a long and grueling route that few people make it through at all.
Lately I've been looking at graduate programs, realizing that in the coming months and semesters comes applications and personal statements and GRE test scores and internships and holy cow, do I feel like I'm way in over my head. I'm sitting here studying for my freshman level anatomy and physiology class while trying to think through all of this in my head. How to get my GPA up to look better for grad school apps along with trying to find the time between school and work to do extra activities like volunteering and joining clubs to look like an even better candidate. Trying to find time to study for the upcoming GRE when I don't even feel that prepared for half of my regular exams. Shuffling the thoughts in my head about how the average graduate program for Psychology only accepts six applicants per year on average, meanwhile I feel like I'm not doing nearly enough when it also feels like I'm drowning in work with not near enough time to make it through it all.
Ever since I was in early high school my dream was to be a Forensic Psychologist. I read my first true crime book at the age of 14 and I knew that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, yet here I am realizing that all the people who have told me to dream big have absolutely no idea how freakin' hard it is to actually try and accomplish those big dreams they keep talking about. As I sit here trying my best not to stress over the future, when that's all we've ever been told to do is to dream big and think about the future, I'm realizing that it isn't as easy as I thought and not only do we have to think about how hard it's going to be to get there, another worry is also how long it takes. I'll be 22 when I graduate with my bachelor's degree and the average PhD program is five to six years, depending. That puts me at 28 or 29 when I finally reach my goal, and not everyone is cut out to push things back in normal life that way to achieve a goal they've always dreamed of, and sometimes I think I'm one of those people. But as I sit here, crying and worrying about the future, I'm realizing that taking it day by day, one day at a time is the only thing I can do.
While worrying about GRE scores and GPA's, sometimes we forget that you can't rush things and while it all may feel like it's piling on all at once, we have to remember where we are now and how far we've come. While dreaming big may be really freakin' hard and we can recognize that, those of us with big dreams can't forget you can only take one step at a time to get there and we have to push through, even through hard times, to make our big dreams a reality.