In the event that you are considering attending college, university or graduate school after a brain injury the lessons that I learned may benefit you.
On Donna ODonnell Figurski radio program, “Another Fork in the Road – College After Brain Injury – Juliet Madsen & Karen Dickerson” aired on Brain Injury Radio on August 6, 2017 I shared these lessons.
My Process and Journey with Brain Injury, College, Universities and Graduate Schools
In my experience, my traumatic brain injury occurred when I was 10 years old, in 1967. In my experience, it took me 10 years with 4 different majors (2 universities and 1 college) to obtain my undergraduate degree. In my experience, it also took me 3 1/2 years and 2 different graduate schools to obtain my graduate degree.
After obtaining my master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling my mom told me that the results from the 2 EEG’s and a battery of neurological and psychological tests done in 1968 revealed that I was not expected to succeed beyond high school academically. My parents had decided not to share the news with me in 1968.
Lessons Learned that May Benefit You
How you learn, following your brain injury, may be different from the way you used to learn before your brain injury. My suggestion would be that you get tested to understand how you best learn. Are you a visual learner, an auditory learner or a kinesthetic (watching and doing) learner.
How people may be trying to teach you may not be the way you learn. Understanding that your difficulty learning may be due to how you are being taught may reduce the anxiety you may be experiencing. Discovering how you learn and how you learn from other people may reduce your frustration.
I have difficulties learning sequences of information. As a result, I have come to realize that I need to do things a “bazillion times” to learn sequences. I have written an article that you may find to be helpful. Click on this link to read the article: Neuroplasticity, Small Successes, and Learning / Relearning Skill Sets
Before you select a major or attend graduate school, my suggestion would be that you interview people who are working in your desired interest of study in college, university and graduate school. Doing so will give you insight into what they actually do working in the field of interest.
Informational interviews (speaking with people who are actually working in your interest of study) will give you insight and save you from spending the money to later find out that you do not want to work in that field of study.
After I obtained my graduate degree in rehabilitation counseling and my national credentials as a certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC), I believed I was set to work anywhere in the United States. When my job as a certified rehabilitation counselor ended with an insurance company (worker’s compensation) in Kentucky, I moved to Florida.
When I arrived in Florida and attempted to find a job I found that my national credentials as a CRC did not open doors for me.
Instead, I found that in order to work in Florida, as a counselor, I would have to obtain a different graduate degree and other credentials.
I share my experience with you to encourage you to do your “homework” before attending an undergraduate and/or a graduate school.
An undergraduate or graduate degree may limit your options vocationally. Apart from doing your “home work” you may find that you have spent money-getting a degree that you can not use or may not want to use.
To watch and listen to Part 1 of the article, you may click on this link: Attending College, University and Graduate School after a Brain Injury Part 1 Video Presentation
Please read the conclusion in Part 2 of this article by clicking on this link: Attending College, University, and Graduate School after a Brain Injury Part 2
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