"FUIMUS - We Have Been"

"FUIMUS - We Have Been!" motto of Clan Bruce

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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

ONCE UPON A DREAM; End Of Academic Year!

It is quite late at night and I have just come home from the last class of the 2015/16 academic year.   Tomorrow I am going out for a celebratory meal to mark this milestone in my training, as I am now three quarters of the way through the diploma, with just one more year to go.

Although there is still some work to do, in the form of an end of year essay to be turned in mid-July, right now I am in a reflective mood and I wanted to mark this night with a blog post - and a glass of red wine!   It has been quite a challenging year of studying.  This higher level of the course has meant a deeper level of intensity and a new task-master tutor.  We have had to develop our professional persona as psychotherapists, prior to going on clinical placements and working to achieve our clinical hours.  Last week I passed my Fitness to Practice test, which was another milestone and another step forward in my training.  This means I am now competent and professional enough to be let loose on the public as a psychotherapy counsellor.

After three years of training we are now on the same level as a Registered General Nurse, in terms of how much studying and training we have under our belts and if I had chosen to spend the last three years doing nurse training instead, I would be qualifying this year.  Come September we shall be moving up another level and progressing into further studying and even more training, alongside clinical placements, so it will be even harder.   I am starting to see why counsellors like to tell people that they are on the same level as a doctor - I don't personally feel that way myself, but maybe I shall after another year of study.

As the academic year has drawn to a close I have frequently compared it to finishing a big creative project.  I have all the same feelings that I usually get when I have been writing a book for months on end and I have just turned it into my editor; or when I had sung myself hoarse, to the point where I literally lost my voice completely, as I wrote and recorded my album Moon Chants.  The feelings of elation, relief and fatigue are exactly the same.   I am mentally exhausted and physically drained.  

As always happens when I reach the end of a big project and a prolonged period of creative work, I can feel a bad cold coming on.  It happens like clockwork - as soon as I have some down time, I go down with a cold - it's like the germs have been waiting for me to sit down long enough to catch me.  I think it is my body's way of making sure I get the rest I need.  And I do need it!  My thyroid illness makes everything about ten times more difficult and it has been screaming at me for the past few weeks that I need to take things easy for a bit, but I just haven't been free to do so.

All that changes from tomorrow!  After a celebratory meal out, I can spend my days working quietly at home on my essay and my writing projects.  My psychotherapy feature ideas continue to be commissioned so I am thrilled by that and I love writing on my new subject of expertise.  Beyond that I plan to read lots of novels, work on my tapestry, practice my piano, get out into the garden and the countryside and generally catch up with all the lovely aspects of my life that have had to be put on hold to make way for study time.  

I'm going to enjoy a nice long summer break of gentle activities, fun outings and of course, my writing work.  No more classes; no more homework; no more course stress for the next two months...just relaxation and recharging my batteries, ready for the last big push of my final year come September.  But that's too far in the future for me to think about.  I'm currently looking forward to long, lazy summer days, reading in the garden, taking country drives and generally recuperating from academic anxieties!  

For the remainder of tonight I plan to curl up under the duvet and watch rubbish TV in bed.  It has been a long and rewarding year of academic study.  I feel a sense of achievement now that I have come to the end of it, but right now I just need to start getting some rest.  Goodnight Moon :-)

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