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MATTHEW R. BUCKLEY: I think what I would say to you as you get ready to come into this program and take the first course is, cut yourself some slack. And what I mean by that is that there's so much to do and so much to attend to. There's so many mechanical things. And what I mean by that is, you know, when is my schedule going to start and my books coming? And, you know, I want to make a good impression. I want to write well. And I want to do all of these things.
And sometimes, when you're so focused on that, you lose sight of the long term, and that is that you're going to be a counselor one day. And that's sometimes difficult to feel that or trust that as you're going through course by course and to go to residency. But I think my advice is, really, trust the process. Trust that the vision that you have for yourself will be realized, that you've got faculty around you who are supportive, who understand the commitment that you've made-- both time and financial commitment-- and that they are standing ready to work with you and help you and support you and that, when you feel tense and anxious-- and, you know, is this going to come together, and am I going to finish this course well, et cetera-- trust the process, that you're going to get through.
And you may not get through in a way that you expect. It may turn out differently than you would predict. But all of that is part of the process. I often tell my students and want to share with you that some of the greatest lessons that you'll learn in this program have nothing to do with the classroom. There are going to be lessons learned in confronting yourself and seeing that, sometimes, you want to have it just right and perfectly and that you learn how to settle for just good enough sometimes and be OK with that.
And as you move through that process and learn more about yourself, you will be able to translate that learning in working with clients who struggle with the same thing. And you'll be able to not only relate to them from a theoretical standpoint, but you'll be able to say, yeah, I've been there, too.