Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

Deciding that I wanted to pursue a graduate degree was a big life change. It was not something that I had originally planned on doing. I thought I had my future planned until I was exposed to the career of occupational therapy.

I graduated from college with my undergraduate degree in elementary education. Growing up I had always wanted to be a teacher. Many children change their future job countless times while growing up. I was different. When I was eight years old I decided that I wanted to be a teacher, and it stuck. I never explored other career opportunities and when I went to college I was to receive my education degree and there was no telling me otherwise. After my two and a half years of teaching in an elementary school, I have found myself wanting more. I did not know what more was, but I knew I was being pulled in another direction. I found myself wanting more than being in a classroom every day. I love helping and caring for others, but I wanted to push myself further and see what else I could accomplish.

There was really no one specific event that inspired me to pursue a graduate degree. It was the two and a half years of teaching that opened my eyes that children not only needed my assistance academically, but they needed me to teach them daily life skills. They needed to learn how to hold a pencil correctly, how to tie shoes, how to express their emotions, how to ask for what they needed, how to organize, the list is endless. I found myself wondering what classes I could take and what certification I could obtain that would make me the most valuable to my students. After countless hours of searching, I was led to occupational therapy. I want to take my knowledge as a teacher of academics and mold that together with teaching practical life skills.

To achieve the education that I need to become an occupational therapist I need to earn a graduate degree and I am honored and excited that in May of 2019 I will begin my education to reach that goal.

Lauren from North Carolina
Lenoir-Rhyne University