|Released from the Tower!|
Last night I had my very final class in college which means that I have now finished my psychotherapy diploma! I'm thrilled to be free of it. Every Tuesday for the past four years I have been coming to this building for lectures and it will be strange not to return here again come September. My lecture room was on the fourth floor of the central tower - if you count up four of the long horizontal windows, that was where my lecture room was. This has to be one of the ugliest buildings I have ever seen, and because it is made from glass and the air-con is rubbish, it is like sitting in a greenhouse come the summer months.
I have mixed feelings about leaving. On the one hand it means that I am now finally free of classes, essays, assignments, residential training days, endless 'skills practice' and tutorials. It means that our task-master tutor will move onto a whole new set of people, releasing us from the 150+ emails with which our inboxes have been bombarded during the course. We've had a veritable barrage of emails from him since before the first class - some useful, some vital, but many just unnecessary. While I admire his commitment, it could sometimes feel a bit too controlling and I really don't like it when people try to pull my strings - I am not a puppet to a puppet-master.
So I can't honestly say I am sorry to be free of all that. I am sorry to lose the library though and the lovely tech guy who would help me with IT issues. He never made me feel stupid and he had a very reassuring presence - I knew he would help me sort whatever went wrong with the digital portfolio, and in a calm and patient manner that I found very soothing. So I will miss that calming influence.
I'll also miss the friends I made on the course. We are going to keep in touch, and we have a leaving party planned for this weekend which should be fun, but it is inevitable that we will now all go our separate ways. Our time together has come to an end; we will no longer see each other every week. But it has been a pleasure to study with them. I have learnt a lot from them and I do feel that some lasting friendships have been made within the group. I am looking forward to our official leaving party!
As it was the final class last night we brought gifts for everyone and exchanged them. It was interesting to see what people had brought and why they had picked those particular gifts. I took sample CDs of my Moonchants album for everyone, along with celebration wish bubbles. I came home with a bag full of goodies, from pretty pink scented candles, to lovely stone tealight holders for our respective therapy rooms, to a folder of organisational post-it notes which will be useful and a plaque which says "never let anyone dull your sparkle" - again, this will look lovely in either a therapy room or in our homes. In addition, there were stones, poems, sweeties and affirmation cards, all doing the rounds and making us all smile. It was a lovely evening and a nice way to mark the end of this milestone phase in our training. After class I celebrated in a small way with my mother - we had cake and Prosecco and she got me a card to mark the occasion. It was a good laugh and after four years of stress, I really needed to let my hair down! Our official family celebration is a meal out next week.
Most of all though I just feel a huge sense of relief - relief that it is over and that all my assignments have passed! Providing the external moderator agrees with how our tutor has marked our work, this essentially means that I have passed all the academics of the course. Now it's just my clinical hours to finish and a placement report to write up, but neither of those things have anything to do with the college - they go straight into the examining body as soon as we have completed them, probably next year. So I am on track to succeed and gain the full diploma, which is a great relief.
I also feel a sense of having been liberated. For the past two years I have felt shackled to the course - now I feel free again and it's wonderful! I am making plans for my future studies and I have decided that I am giving myself a year off, before going on to hopefully do the MA I have had my eye on since the very beginning. An MA which has nothing whatsoever to do with counselling and psychotherapy, but is something much closer to my heart. I am hoping to begin studying at MA level in autumn 2018.
So there is lots to enjoy and look forward to...parties, family meals, new study goals etc. My fresh start seems to be a long time coming... but all I can do is press ahead with my own life and keep achieving my goals. And so tonight, I feel drained but happy to have finally completed my training and to be ready to start a whole new phase of my life. The training chapter has ended and I am more than ready to turn the page and see what comes next...Confide In Me...