Just a few months ago, none of us imagined having our lives turned upside down. Our classes went remote, counseling sessions virtual, and with social distancing in effect, meeting people was simply out of the question. Some of us are navigating working from home while having children who need to be homeschooled. We are single parents, counselors, instructors, living alone, away from loved ones, facing job insecurities, worried about internship hours, and much more. So, graduate students and new professionals, we hear you and we want to support you and each other through this pandemic. Here are some thoughts that we have collectively developed as a committee:
It’s okay to not be as productive: Working from home is not easy, and some of us completely avoid working at home if we can. Of course, now with the pandemic, this is no longer an option. So, while we may feel that we have more time being at home most days, it is still incredibly hard to be productive. And that is okay.
Virtual telemental health sessions are exhausting and can lead to counselor burnout. We’re trying to take care of ourselves while also serving others in a format unfamiliar to many. That effort can take a mental, emotional, and physical toll when the care for ourselves piece is lacking.
Trying to make your clinical hours during a pandemic is hard. It feels unfair. It feels like you’re at a disadvantage. It feels like the clinical experience you did not ask for. You might also be forced to delay graduation and experience grief because of it.
The job search feels daunting. The United States is in a strange economic position, and the workforce might not seem to be the most inviting place. You might be wondering if you will be able to use your degree as quickly as you intended. And if you aren’t, what might that mean for your financial stability?
Life does not stop during a pandemic, even if it feels like it does. Families need care. Bills, even if placed into a short relief, will eventually need to be paid. Broken cars, homes, or other items must be repaired. Although we are in a crisis and moving toward recovery, the “normal” aspects of life still require attention.
Here are some resources that we have gathered that we hope might help you during this time. If there is anything that we can do for you as the ACA Graduate Student Committee, please reach out to us through ACA Connect. We are here for you!
Five Ways to Build Resilience Every Day:
Mindfulness Talks and Guided Meditations:
Counselors as Essential Workers:
Resources for Coping with COVID-19:
Graduate Student and New Professional Blogs
We are all taking 12-15 credit hours per semester, participating in research opportunities, managing work schedules, maintaining a social/family life, or we just transitioned into our New Professional role and have no idea what we are doing! ACA’s Graduate Student and New Professional Blog offers real life vignettes of life, academics, and how to keep yourself afloat despite your crazy schedule. Any suggestions for what you would like to hear more about, please email the Graduate Student Committee.