It came to a point in my life where I needed to make a change in my career. Work was getting slow for me and I lost the overall enjoyment it gave me. I started thinking about what it is I truly wanted to do. At my age when you make a career change you want to be absolutely sure what it is that you want to do. I wanted to be happy with the decision I ended up with. Psychology has always fascinated me. I realized that it is truly is a long road. What can I do that might be comparative? I am fifteen years sober from alcohol and I also realized that I took a lot for granted when I drank regularly. It came to me that I never really gave anything back. This is important to me because I know that the “lost cause” feeling I had is felt by many others in the position I was in. I’ve atoned for and made amends with the people I hurt the most (the people closest to me). I am lucky in the fact that they all understood that that person is not truly who I am. Fortunately I have a wonderful family and a great bunch of friends. I researched some schools and looked into some programs. One program that stood out was community mental health and addictions worker. I was interested right away and began the task of finding the best school for this program. I was pretty excited. I ran this idea by my wife, immediate family and close friends and their eyes all lit up and said “that is it! You were made for that program.” It seemed they were as excited as I was. I laughed because it sure does feel right.
In my search for the right school I found 3 that interested me and began making appointments. I had interviews at the 3 schools and the last one I went to grabbed me and didn’t let go. This was Stenberg College. Of all 3 appointments I had this one absolutely stood out. The Program Advisor (Jandy) was so respectful and knowledgeable. I was really impressed. The most important thing that stood out was she did not sell the school at all (she actually told me to make sure this was what I wanted to do and that this was the school to do it) the school sold itself. I applied immediately. If I wasn’t sure before, I was now. I wrote the entrance exam and wrote a short essay. The thought of writing an essay terrified me. I had not written one in over 20 years and I was scared of them then. I just wrote from my heart why this was important to me. The affect was positive because the feedback I got from 3 different staff members was incredible. I was stunned and thought to myself “wow this really is what I need to be doing”. When I was accepted it felt like I had just won the lottery. Even funding from financial aid was quite easy. The only drawback was start date was a few months away and I wanted to start NOW. Good things come to those who wait though. Since my first appointment I have not had any doubt or second thought about what I chose or where I chose how to learn the skills. Things happen for a reason and I was without a doubt guided to Stenberg by an old soul’s hand. It was meant to be.
There was an information session at the Surrey campus a few weeks before classes started. A funny thing happened on the way to attend this meeting. The bus route I took to the meeting was the same bus route I took to all of my old drinking spots. I had such a sense of deja-vu. I felt twenty years younger. The difference was it was a constructive bus ride not the deconstructive bus ride that it had been in the past. I was in awe. I arrived at the meeting and got to meet the driving force behind the engine that is Stenberg College. There was such a sense of community that was impossible to ignore. This School does things for the right reasons. To help people, that includes helping me fine tune the skills I need to make a difference. I have been here for a few months now and have ABSOLUTELY NO REGRETS about the decision I made 8 months ago. The instructors are experienced, personable people that make learning fun. I thank you for this opportunity. I have been given a chance that not a lot of people get. With time maybe we, as a group, can change that. I know we have a common goal to help people that need it most. I will change me but Stenberg will be helping me every step of the way.