As I come to the end of my internship (I still have a few more weeks…but I’m almost done!), I’ve reflected on how much I’ve grown these past few months as an individual. I wish I could go back in time to five years ago or even six months ago and give myself some advice about life, school, and internship.
Give your opinion…it’s important. I just figured this out this week, but I wish I had learned to give my opinion years ago. Everyone’s opinion matters and it’s especially important to share your opinion, if it’s respectful and kind, with someone else if you have something valuable to say. It’s emotionally draining to keep your feelings and opinions to yourself. While sharing your own opinions is important, it’s just as essential to listen to other’s opinions as well. Sharing your own opinions with other people and having an open conversation can lead to further growth and learning.
Don’t worry so much! You’re going to be just fine. I’m still learning about this, but the amount of time I spend worrying has decreased significantly over the course of my internship. Sessions, documentation, handling stress-it all gets easier with practice, which happens over time. Therefore, I would tell myself, don’t worry!!! It’s not worth it and it will all get easier with time!
Work hard, but find time to relax. Working hard is important and worthwhile, but I also think that’s important to find time to relax. Six months ago, I didn’t even know the definition of self-care. Before starting my internship, I was working four jobs and going to school full time. It was worthwhile, but I wish I had spent a little more quality time with my friends before leaving school and given myself time to relax. However, I’m glad that I learned this lesson now; I’m working on balance in my life, working hard but still making time for self-care.
What are some things that you would tell your younger self?
2016 went by so fast, but I’m looking forward to 2017 because it will be filled with new experiences, love, laughter, and new friends. I only have a few more weeks left of my internship (seven to be specific) and knowing this has allowed me to reflect on how I want to spend the rest of the year. These reflections have helped me develop some New Year resolutions that I believe are achievable and important in my growth as an individual.
Lots of new experiences are headed my way in 2017. I will finally graduate college, become certified, start a new job, and move to a new state. Since I’m not always comfortable with change and will do anything to avoid it, but one of my resolutions will be to embrace new experiences and do something challenging every day. It’s a pretty broad resolution; I will challenge myself to continue seeking out good and appropriate challenges that make me uncomfortable each day; my internship has allowed me to do this, but I want to continue doing things that make me slightly uncomfortable. Growth is uncomfortable, but it makes me a better person, therapist, and friend.
Additionally, there are too many days where I wake up with a negative attitude and outlook towards life. One of my New Year resolutions will be to think more positively. We all know that thinking positive thoughts can help change attitude and mood, but it doesn’t always come easily. That being said, I will be spending more time reflecting and writing down at least five positive aspects about each day to help encourage me to focus on the positives rather than the negatives. Each day is a gift, even if it’s been terrible, and I want to fully appreciate each moment.
I believe that these two resolutions are pretty big, but they are definitely achievable. I plan on making new resolutions throughout the year once I practice these first two!
Thanks for reading my resolutions! I would love to hear about yours!!
I hope that everyone is at home spending quality time with their family. I’m so thankful that I was able to make it home for the holidays. Like I’ve previously mentioned, this season is my favorite time of the year because everything is just so magical. Also, it’s currently snowing, which makes everything seem a little brighter and gets anyone in the mood for holiday cheer.
During the holidays, many students, interns, and professionals practicing music therapy may have to explain music therapy several times to family members and friends. Thankfully, my family is extremely educated about music therapy because they have done research themselves and they were the ones who introduced me to music therapy in the first place; when they don’t understand something, they typically ask me about it, but I never have to give the elevator speech during the holidays. I know that many other students or interns may have to give several elevator speeches regarding music therapy, but I view this as a great way to practice advocating for our field.
Even though it may feel frustrating at times for some people, it’s so important. Telling people, including family, about music therapy can spark questions and even encourage them to look up research. If that happens, then there are more people to advocate for music therapy and we all know the benefits of advocation. I know that when people ask them what I’m studying in school/doing now, my sister, mother, and father all tell them about music therapy in an educated and understandable way.
I don’t have to explain music therapy to any family members anymore, but I still like to think of the holidays as a great time for music therapy advocation while spreading holiday cheer. That being said, my goal for 2017 is to always advocate and never feel frustrated about explaining music therapy to people multiple times. Music therapy is such a wonderful field and I know that I want to share the greatness with everyone else.
I hope everyone has a great weekend and a fantastic New Years!
Time management. It’s something that is so important, yet so difficult to practice and be good at on a daily basis. I’ve mentioned several times in previous week’s that an important part of self-care is being able to leave work at home and time management is a HUGE part of that. I’ve been working really hard at being great at managing my time so that I can have some of that self-care time every evening and weekend. Not only is managing time important for self-care reasons, it’s just generally a good concept to practice, especially as a future music therapist who is working on a schedule with limited documentation and planning time. I would love to share what I’ve learned so far about what works best for managing my time; I would also love to hear from you about some of your tips and tricks that will help me in my future career
I keep a detailed planner with all of my sessions and lessons outlined in a clear and colored coded way. I use google calendar, which has been a giant lifesaver during my internship. I print out a copy of my schedule every week, especially since it can change frequently and put it into my clinical binder (where I take data, etc). I also have a paper planner too (in my opinion, you can never have too many planners!). Both schedules are color coded to differentiate between sessions, lessons, hospital time, and even my own personal life including my job. Looking at my schedule immediately reduces any anxiety I have about my day.
I make a weekly to-do list of everything that I want to accomplish that week and then I divide up those tasks for each day. Doing this makes everything more manageable. Someone once told me in college that it’s unrealistic to accomplish more than six tasks per day on top of every day life. That being said, I always make sure that my to-do list only contains six tasks and I only add more tasks to my to-do list if the tasks already on it are small and don’t take too much time.
I keep a log of every activity that I do in order to make sure I’m on track and managing my time well. For a music therapy internship, it’s required that you keep a detailed log of daily assignment work and clinical hours. Although I have to do this, I’ve found that it helps to determine how I’m spending my time, evaluate, and then change it accordingly. I can see how long it takes to me to complete documentation or an assignment; if it’s taking too long to complete something, I can determine the reason and then work on being even more efficient.
All of these activities help me get through my day. As I transition into a professional music therapist, my schedule will become even busier, but now I feel like I have the right tools to make sure I’m organized and practicing good time management.
It has been a crazy week; so many unexpected events have happened in the past five days that I’m extremely happy that this week is now over. Even though some bad events occurred this week, some great ones happened as well. Also, despite everything else, I have learned some valuable life lessons that can be carried over into my clinical practice.
Enjoy every moment that life gives you because something can happen and it can be taken away from you in a split second.
This is the biggest lesson I’ve learned this week and I believe that it’s very important. Life can be taken away from you at any moment (sorry, it’s true) and it’s too short to be worrying about the small stuff. Enjoy every moment of life, the good and the bad, no matter. I don’t want to look back at my life and only remember the things that I spent hours worrying about because that would be a waste of my time and energy. I want to look back at a life that I’ve lived happily, to the fullest, and surrounded by those who mean the most to me.
Sometimes things just don’t go as planned, no matter how much we plan or prepare.
If you’ve read my previous blog posts, then you know I’m a planner and not planning so much is something that I’ve been continuously working on as well as not over thinking everything. Well, this week threw me some situations that were definitely not planned, and no matter what, could not have been avoided. I had to remain flexible throughout the entire week and realize that my plan was not happening. Sometimes, it’s like that in sessions as well. I may have a plan of interventions, music, etc. and the client will come in needing something completely different. That’s were flexibility is key; I throw out the plan for the day and just meet the client were they are and hear/listen to their needs.
Things happen and it’s all going to be alright.
Things happen by surprise every day and I’m so incredibly thankful for those in my life, my health, and this internship, which is helping me in ways that I didn’t even realize I needed. Even though some bad events may occur, it will always be alright and the bright side of life will appear again. For me, next week will be better and I will continue learning, growing, and celebrating this wonderful holiday season.