So why did I apply to Canisius? Well there is quite a bit of history to go through to understand the answer to this question but the TL:DR (too long, didn’t read) version is that Canisius was in the perfect place at the perfect time. Allow me to explain.
After graduating from Ball State University back in my home state of Indiana, I was lost. I had switched to majoring in psychology fairly late in my college career, necessitating an extra year, but this change still left me way too busy to do more than contemplate graduate school. Beyond being busy, I also wasn’t even sure I wanted to go to grad school. I felt like my years were slipping away from me as I spent year after year digging myself further into debt by drudging away at school instead of contributing to society and “living my life.” I needed a couple of friends to point out that going to school was still living my life, but at this time I still felt that my life was on hold until I had a job to define and validate my existence.
So I did what any good Christian would do. I prayed as intensely as I could for God to show me which path would be better for me; going to grad school or working right away. But I heard little in the way of divine direction, so I proceeded on making my decision. I could start work as a case manager in my small town in Indiana, stay home with my parents, work to pay off my loans and try to save money, and then…. I wasn’t sure. I couldn’t see any further from there. I could stay in Indiana and work until I retired as a case manager, but I felt that I would be better as a mental health counselor. Unfortunately that required grad school. I also didn’t want to stay in Indiana forever; there is a big world out there to see and live in. I also realized that if I planed to move to a different state, then working for a year or longer in Indiana would mean putting my life on hold in a way. The friendships that I would develop in Indiana wouldn’t transfer across the country and so I would be cultivating dead-end relationships, so to speak. Eventually I decided that grad school would be the best opportunity for me.
Now I had to decide which school. Luckily I have an uncle who is a mental health counselor so he gave me some great career advice. He told me to seek out a school that was CACREP accredited. That stands for Council of Accreditation for Counseling and Related Education Programs, which basically is the gold standard for counseling programs. Going to a school affiliated with this association would increase my job eligibility. So I began searching all across the country for schools that had programs that were CACREP accredited. I eventually applied and was accepted to Colorado Christian University in Denver Colorado.
But wait, you say, that’s not Canisius! We’re getting there, trust me. So I started taking classes online at this school for the fall semester so that I would have more time and money to actually move to Denver. However, the more I researched the school and area, the more I was actually dreading moving there. I didn’t think that I would like the sunny, arid weather, or the conservative Christian bent of the school. At the same time I was starting to fantasize about living in historical, cozy city with extensive cloud cover and frequent rain. No joke, that was where I wanted to live. Anyway, as the fall semester ended I received an email from the admissions personnel, which stated that not enough people applied to start in the spring semester like me, so they were going to delay my start until next fall. I would have to move all the way out to Denver to take some in-person electives and then finally start the program in the next fall. As you can imagine after all that talk about wanting to start my life and contribute to society, I rejected this offer and withdrew myself from that school.
Now I have no school and Christmas break is nearly upon me. So I searched for CACREP schools in cities that fit what I was looking for. I quickly found Canisius in Buffalo, NY and immediately fell in love. Canisius was my academic savior. I applied and was accepted within less than two weeks of my application. I was overjoyed to live in the city of Buffalo and go to this school that would accept me in the spring and still met all of my criteria for a stellar counseling program.
I have never looked back, except to say how lucky I am that this wonderful school was in the exact right place at the exact right time. I love my program, I love living in Buffalo, and most of all, I am learning a great deal to contribute to society both now and when I graduate.