Stepping Into Life

Graduation DayOur younger daughter graduated from her dream university in May. She went through the stress of finals, elation of graduation and ultimately, disappointment when she did not immediately get into the accelerated graduate nursing programs she applied to.

That last item was tough for her. She had a picture in her mind of how things were going to roll out, and they just didn’t fall that way. She will never know precisely why, but my suspicion is that God had another plan for her. It was a bit slower and in some ways a bit more grueling, but it has given her the gift of time and experience.

She recently received the great news that she is accepted to the one of the top five nursing programs in the country, and she will begin in the spring semester of 2014. Meanwhile, she has had a few months  to work in the field she thinks she wants to pursue, to research and learn more about it from the very people who are doing it right now, and to become an even stronger candidate when the time came. She got a glimpse of how capable and organized she is, and how her work ethic is going to serve her well, both in school and beyond.

About.com says, “…Reasons for taking a year or two off between undergraduate and graduate school include gaining work experience. Some fields, such as nursing and business, recommend and expect some work experience. In addition, the lure of money and the chance to save is hard to resist. Saving money often is a good idea because grad school is expensive and it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to work many hours, if any, while you’re in school.

Many students worry that they will never return to school after a year or two away from the grind. That’s a realistic concern, but take the time that you need to be sure that grad school is right for you. Graduate school requires a great deal of motivation and the ability to work independently. Generally, students who are more interested and committed to their studies are more likely to be successful. Time off may increase your desire and commitment to your goals.

…Time off can be beneficial if it enhances your credentials and prepares you for the stresses and strains of grad school.”

So, what did our brilliant, motivated scholar do with her six months? A part-time internship at a Children’s Hospital where she was instrumental in creating a program aimed at preventing childhood injuries and a campaign against texting while driving. She also went through the process of finding and setting up her first adult household. Both experiences will add to her life knowledge, her sense of self-sufficiency and will lead her to the next step God has in mind for her.

Our parenting role has moved to one of pure mentoring, and that is a wonderful goal to achieve. In fact, her Dad and sister and I are merely here to cheer her on through this step and beyond!

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