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

With one eye open in a dark hospital room, I typed the letters d–e–a–t–h into my search bar, petrified over the impending results. Just as I unwittingly expected, the results confirmed what I had feared was happening. She was dying. It took reading the Merriam Webster definition of death in that hospital room for me to fully accept that my mother was not going to make it. I had been in denial, as had my father, older sisters, and my mother. The next morning I told my mother it was okay to let go. I reassured her that my family and I would be okay and we did not want her to suffer any more. She passed away a day later. Losing someone brings immediate and acute awareness to a concept we all know is inevitable, but never truly let ourselves comprehend. We spend our days trying to stay alive and are focused on future success and appearances, rather than making sure we are taking advantage of the time we get in this life. Working with a LMFT following my mother’s death had a major impact on my recovery. It empowered me to take control of my behaviors and to understand the “why” behind certain feelings and repeated cycles. I tapped into my newfound coping skills to articulate the eulogy at my mother’s funeral. Expressing my feelings and reminiscing beautiful memories at the funeral was a culmination of my journey toward self-acceptance. Over the last ten years I have dedicated myself to a career in marketing. While I excel at developing ideas for campaigns, my success is due to my ability to have empathy toward others. After committing to my mental health, I realized my work was no longer producing the same sense of satisfaction as it had in the past. This realization was the catalyst for my decision to enroll in graduate school. I look forward being able to contribute to my community through mental health services. Most importantly, I hope to ensure that my patients do not feel alone.

Amanda from California
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology