Good morning everyone, as I sip my coffee this morning I can’t help but think that today seemed impossible a year ago. In psychology graduate school, internship is “the thing”. It’s what everyone talks about day in and day out, it’s both something to fear and something to look forward to.
After years of prep, last year was my turn to apply. I applied to roughly 10 sites and did 9 interviews (You know what Boston University Center for Multicultural Training in Psychology? I didn’t want to be there anyways. Humph!). When it came down to ranking my centers for beloved “Match Day” I changed it up so much I swore someone was going to call me and say “Step away from your laptop, ma’am”.
For the longest time I had my heart set out on a site in Texas, every year I’d check the website, I knew the program brochure by memory and already knew were I wanted to live in Houston. I received an interview for that site and I was so sure about my being destined to be there that I moved a surgery I had scheduled for that week. But, before that, I found a site in Connecticut that seemed like a dream. The center per sé looks like a Ronald McDonald house on the inside, perfect for treating children. I applied because the didactic training opportunities truly are one of a kind, I’d be working with minority populations (mostly Hispanic) which is what I want to do when I graduate, I’d work with children and families who have been impacted by trauma and I’d have the opportunity to participate in various clinical rotations from research, to after-school programs for teens to assessment and intervention in schools. I remember the day I interviewed I left so excited but equally scared and sort of “defeated” that I loved it so much but I was 100% sure I wasn’t going to match. I talked to one of my colleagues/friends as well as my husband (then fiancé) about it and they both told me to go with my gut and rank it first if I really loved it and could see myself there. It’s probably one of the few decisions in my life were I could afford and have the privilege of being selfish. Of course, J supported this decision since day. Thank you, I love you.
So I did, I ranked the site in Hartford first and site in Houston second (I won’t bore you with the other rankings/locations). I think the main reason I ranked it first was because it would allow me to do what I love and know (children and families victims of sexual abuse) but also allow me to diversify my clinical experiences with other populations. The Houston site is mostly victims of sexual abuse and human trafficking, which is amazing but I sort of craved doing something in addition to that. Anyways, I was so skeptical about ranking Hartford first that I was looking at “Living in Houston” posts before Match Day.
Match Day arrived.
You have matched to: Really Amazing Internship*, Hartford, CT (*Not really it’s name).”
Words cannot express my emotion that day. Another story for another time.
However, I was and probably still am a little emotionally attached to the site in Houston. I was so sure I was going to be there that sometimes I question myself in my ranking order. The interview in Texas did bring me one thing, first of all it confirmed that I wanted to work with children victims of trauma and if I see myself down the road I’ll probably work at some sort of site specialized in such interventions and not necessarily opening my own practice. It also brought me an amazing friend and future colleague, Rachel, she matched at the Houston site BTW :). Rach, if you read this, I love you more than guacamole. I was talking to her about it and she said something that hit me hard. It was something along the lines of “We aren’t were we thought we’d be but we are exactly where we were meant to be” and maybe, just maybe the universe made us such good friends so that we could on some level experience each other’s sites through our friendship.
Whatever the case, whatever my reason for moving so far away from my family, I hope it’s worth it. A year ago it seemed impossible to even get an interview, let alone Match.
I hope I am right were I am supposed to be and that being in this site as a doctoral intern will give me the opportunity to learn and grow as a person and as a clinician.
I’ll keep you all posted.
For now, I have to get ready to leave.