Hi there, I’m Alyssa! I am a graduate student pursuing a Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology (MS-SLP). The grad school application process is time-consuming and challenging, but my blog will show you how to get through the process without so much hassle. I have compiled numerous grad school application resources and tips for future graduate students. Though the Master’s of Speech Language Pathology applications are my strong suit, I do believe my resources can be of help to those going into other professions as well! Keep scrolling to learn more about me and why I chose to write this SLP Grad School blog to help as many students as I can reach!
Most of my friends and family members call me Lyss, which is how I came up for the name of this blog! I love being outdoors. The summer sun brings out the best in me. I love dogs. My 13-year-old “puppies” are the highlights of my Snapchat whenever I’m home. Here’s a couple pictures of them!
Campus is my new home away from home. I take 5 classes and have 3 clinical placements. So far, I’m loving this semester even more than the last. My clinical placements expose me to a wide variety of patients and disorders. Plus, classes are even more realistic to my future as an SLP than last semester’s classes.
I also work two jobs – one campus job and one caregiving job. Caregiving is my favorite of the two jobs. I care for a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder all 5 days of the week, and I absolutely love it! It’s awesome to watch this little gal grow and be apart of her life. Watching over her has taught me so much about children with Autism, and about caring for young ones in general. Being her caregiver has broadened my knowledge and preparedness for my profession.
As for my campus job, I am fortunate enough to work this one based on my availability outside of class, clinic, and caregiving – but I don’t recommend having two jobs as a grad student unless you have a very flexible work schedule like I do!
How I Became Interested in Speech Pathology
I originally became interested in Speech Pathology when my high school Psychology teacher spent a couple days discussing what Speech Pathologists do. His wife was an SLP. He simply lit up every time he talked about how much she adored her job! Whenever I told family friends or relatives that I wanted to go into Speech Pathology, I was heavily encouraged with kind words about how incredible of a job I would have. People gushed about an SLP they knew who just LOVED what they do. People talked about their child who had speech therapy when they were younger, and mentioned how much progress they made since. Every time I hear something about how helpful the professionals in our field are, it just solidifies my passion for the field of Speech Pathology even more.
It may seem like I jumped on the SLP train and never looked back, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. Both of my parents are in the business world, while my peak interest is in Medical Speech Pathology. I don’t have anyone in my family who is in a medically-related profession whatsoever. Not to mention, this whole grad school endeavor sounded quite stressful, too! I did question my choice a couple times. But whenever I thought about helping people with their speech, language, and swallowing, I just knew there was no other profession that could make me as happy as this one. I want to help people. That is also the reason I started this blog.
When I was applying for grad school, I had almost no one to look to for advice.
I was Vice President of Membership for my sorority during the first semester of my senior year. This meant that I was trying to get through the grad school application process while also being in charge of recruitment for a sorority of ~150 people. I loved all the planning, preparation, and involvement for recruitment. But it definitely added a TON more stress to the whole “I have to get into a graduate program because if I don’t I can’t get certified to do what I love” issue. That semester was by far the most stressful semester I experienced as a student. I just wished I had somewhere to look for all the answers.
There was only one person I knew who had applied for MS-SLP programs. While she was extremely helpful, I didn’t want to constantly bother her with questions. I always thought about how much easier it would be if I could find this information online. A single website with all the information I needed to know to prepare for grad school… all in one place. I spent hours trying to find answers to my endless questions. The whole process was intimidating! That is why when I had younger girls coming to me for advice when it was their turn to apply for graduate programs, I wanted to help in any possible way that I could.
Why I started this blog
I started this SLP grad school blog to give advice to future graduate students going through the treacherous application process. Whether you are going into Speech Pathology or another profession, the information on this site can help you succeed. I have laid out an abundance of grad school application resources & information. These tips & tricks will help you spend less time figuring the logistics out, and more time forming incredible application content.
I have discussed everything from how to choose which schools to send your application to, to the best GRE prep materials, to how to ask for a letter of recommendation. My goal is to help as many future graduate students as I can possibly reach! I was in your shoes not long ago, and I aim to have a site that provides even more information than you need to succeed.
A little more about me…
How I Found Out I Needed Glasses
You may have noticed a few pairs of glasses in my pictures throughout the blog, and they’re all from my favorite site Warby Parker! It’s a pretty funny story how I realized I finally needed glasses. All of my family members wear them, but I had never needed them until starting grad school.
It was the first week of class, and we were learning all about various healthcare codes we have to enter into our system when we see patients. The lecturers were showing us an example. They typed in a search for “chicken pox”. All of a sudden, everyone started laughing.
I blinked a few times trying to clear my sight. After lots of blinks and some serious squinting, I could read what everyone was laughing at. “Patient was pecked in the head by chicken.” Apparently this is a real code, and it option popped up when the lecturers typed “chicken”.
It was at this point that I realized I needed glasses. I wasn’t sitting in the very back of the room, and still, I couldn’t read this crazy phrase. I decided it was time to go to the eye doctor. But glasses are so expensive! This was one purchase I was not looking forward to. I started asking around to see where everyone buys their glasses.
One of my friends suggested Warby Parker. She said you can try 5 pairs of glasses for FREE with no strings attached. They ship free, you try them for 5 days, then ship them back free, too. If you decide you want to purchase a pair, their glasses are just $95, and they even accept insurance reimbursement.
I looked into it and was immediately hooked. The only problem was choosing 5 out of so many cute options. I tried 5, then sent in my prescription for the pair I wanted to purchase, and never looked back!
I highly recommend checking them out to try 5 pairs for absolutely free. You may even decide to get some! And when you do make a purchase, a pair of glasses is donated to someone in need. It’s a wonderful company. Take a look here!
First and foremost, I’m a coffee fanatic – in case that isn’t already obvious! Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day, and coffee shop mornings are my favorite mornings.
I love everything sweet. Putting a tray of Ghirardelli double chocolate brownies in front of me is a seriously dangerous thing to do.
My boyfriend and I are obsessed with Charcuterie boards. We search the grocery store for the cheapest ingredients (#GradSchoolBudget) and make our own board at home. There is something about crackers, cheese, and prosciutto with a side of red wine that just makes Netflix & movie marathons so much better!!
Boneless buffalo wings, pesto chicken pasta, and sushi also top my list of favorite foods. As you can probably tell, I’ve never attempted the vegetarian lifestyle.
As much as I love food, I also love to exercise and keep my body healthy. Volleyball was my sport in high school, and I still love to play whenever I get the chance. I never really exercised outside of volleyball until college because with club season it was a year-round sport. I never imagined I’d ever run for fun. A 1-mile run was the most we did at a time in high school – and we all dreaded it!
I couldn’t run more than 2-3 miles at a time until my best friend convinced me to train for a half marathon. It was my junior year of college, and she was training for her second full marathon (she’s seriously incredible!). We trained together whenever our miles lined up, and she encouraged me the whole way. She encouraged 3 of our friends to sign up, and all 3 of us finished the race together!
Completing the half was a hill-filled, whirlwind of an experience, but it was an awesome accomplishment. I haven’t done another half since, but it’s one of my goals for this year! Since then, I’ve found a good balance of cardio and strength-training that keeps me in shape – and makes me actually want to workout!
There’s nothing better than starting off my day with a tough workout followed by a great breakfast and a warm coffee (see, there it is again). Admittedly, I’m not good at working out on the weekends. If you are, props to you – and please send some of your favorite workout motivation quotes my way! For me, though, starting off weekdays with a HIIT workout or short run has proven to keep me happy. Early workouts help me get my days started. They also keep my stress levels as low as they could possibly be for being a grad student!
Now that you’ve learned a little more about me…
I’d love to hear a bit about you, too! Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter to get access to the Facebook group and stay up to date on the latest application tips & tricks! Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful day 🙂
P.S., Did I mention I love dogs?
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