What does it take to qualify as an applicant for an SLP graduate program?
Answer: High quality socks and a reason to stand out
I wonder at how other undergraduate majors can attend class, maintain an adequate GPA, and be equally passionate about their field, yet the stress and endless quest to stand out just doesn’t seem the same. When the base degree to work as an SLP is a Masters degree, SLP undergraduates must think 5 steps ahead. Always thinking: How will this B impact my GPA?; where can I fit in more volunteer hours?; can I put this on my résumé?
Imagine you are drowning and someone hands you the application checklists for 5 universities….this is similar to applying to graduate school for Speech-Language Pathology. Pardon my drama because it is all worth it, and thankfully there are resources out there to keep you floating. So how do those socks and reason come into play? Allow me to explain.
There comes a time in your undergraduate journey where you must make some decisions. What are you willing to sacrifice in order to stand out as a potential applicant for a graduate program?
When your friends can graduate and potentially gain employment without further education, you must strive to stand out. Please, let me be a voice of reason and encouragement. Take on those extra roles in student organizations. Volunteer on the weekends and in your spare time, regardless of how many parties you miss. Exercise your right to observe SLPs and pick their brain on ideas and words of wisdom. Reason might say that since these things aren’t required of any degree nor are your friends trying to beef up their résumé, then you don’t need to do so. Well, pull on your big girl or guy socks and lace up, because getting into graduate school with less than 3 things listed under “relevant experience” is going to take some time and serious prayer.
With the right socks, a person can stand just about anything for just about any length of time. It may feel lonely or unimportant when you start loading up your experiences. Hold out. Be strong. Don’t let peer pressure or a few bad grades talk you out of your commitment.
If you are serious and determined to become a Speech-Language Pathologist, then be your own voice of reason. Find a good pair of socks, stand through the tough times and stress, then walk into your dream. Don’t make this harder than it already is..