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

Relying on the support of others is something that I am not used to doing. I have always been an independent person since a young age. Until two years ago, I found myself in a situation where I desperately needed someone to confide in. During that time, I was in an abusive relationship with my then-husband. The domestic violence that I was experiencing took a toll on my mental health and well-being. I became depressed and helpless while going through a contentious divorce. It was the darkest period of my life, where I felt everything was crumbling down on me. I felt overwhelmed, and at times I wanted to give up on myself. Yet, something inside me was determined not to let it get in my way so that I can have a better future for my kids and me.
As an immigrant in this country, I was taught never to trust anyone outside of my immediate family. But during the time that I was depressed, I wasn’t able to receive the help I needed from my family members. I’ve realized that it was time to seek help before I fell deeper into my depression and that it may consume me.
During my undergraduate years, I had the opportunity to take a course in child advocacy. My professor for that course saw that I needed some help, and she provided me with a list of helpful resources on campus as well as recommended me to see a counselor. Looking back, seeking for help was the best decision I’ve made. It became a pivotal moment in my life where I came to a realization that I had an interest in counseling. I felt that I was capable of advocating for others and provide personal and social support to those in need.
Meeting with a counselor weekly helped me to not only talk through my issues but to face them as well. My counselor was great at explaining her plans for me and guided me through the entire process. This allowed me to actively be engaged in my recovery. Through the process of healing, I found a reason to continue and gave me the passion to pursue a Master's in School Counseling.

Alexandra from California
University of Southern California