Our “Letter to My Younger Self” series continues with a brief yet informative paragraph of advice from one of our long-time Midwest Team clinicians, Heather Simons, SLP-CCC, M.A. As you’ll find out, Heather was a bit nervous to jump into the speech pathologist field after graduation. Find out what she would tell her recent graduate self – great information to pass on or apply in your current practice!
So, you made it through grad school as a non-traditional (read: older) student. Congratulations! Way to go!! You’re done. Now, you’re the expert. (Eek! Me?) You have a LOT of information in your head…and you paid a LOT of money for that information.
But….get ready. Now the real learning begins. Now is the time to make the facts/information/research articles in your toolbox sync up with the REAL WORLD. You’re supposed to be the expert, the person others can come to for advice, but all of a sudden you feel like you don’t know anything. The things you learned in grad school don’t line up quite as nicely as they did in your lab classes. Nothing is quite as clear-cut as it was before. Now you have to learn by doing.
You have to think on your feet, you have to come up with a plan, scrap that plan, and come up with another one in 3 minutes. You might feel silly or awkward or embarrassed. You have to think outside the box. You have to allow yourself to make mistakes. But, know that failing (or scrapping Plan A, or whatever you felt was “failing”) is the only way you really learn; it’s the way you actually become the expert.
Even now, you still probably don’t feel like an expert, but you’re getting there. You’re on your way. You are learning something new. Every. Single. Day.”
Follow in Heather’s footsteps and learn something new by checking out our latest school-based opportunities here!