As you probably already know I am a junior SLP major. The first reaction most people have when you tell them you are going to school for speech-language pathology is “what is that?”. You just smile like you always do and tell them that you’ll help people that stutter and ones that say wabbit instead of rabbit. They then understand that you in fact won’t be writing speeches. So to give a better understanding of what being a speech major entails I’m going to give you an idea of what a typical week is like for a junior SLP major.
Sunday: You either did all of your homework/studying already or you put it all off until Sunday night. Either way you know you will get everything done like you always do. Around 6 pm you start to freak out, you have clinic tomorrow and you can’t remember if you have everything around for it. You only have one client, but hey, you want to give that client the best treatment they can get! You panic some more, but slowly realize that you are prepared and will be ready to tackle this session tomorrow. You can’t sleep though because you’re so excited that you get to have a glimpse of what it’s like to be a real SLP, so you lay in bed daydreaming about how awesome you are going to do!
Monday: You rise and shine early because you need to be down in Passan really early to have a meeting with your clinic supervisor. It’s all so overwhelming, they are telling you to do SOAP notes, a treatment plan, lesson plans, journals, log your hours and you may have to do a re-evaluation, you stand there in a panic because there’s so much paperwork to be done and you haven’t even done your treatment session yet. After the meeting is over you calm yourself down and remind yourself that you’ll figure it out and get it done like you always do. You start to prepare for your session with your client and before you know it your client has arrived and it’s time to begin your session. You do great in your session and your client loved all of the activities you had planned for them. You get great feedback from your supervisor along with some constructive criticism (which is always a good thing!). After your session you need to tackle all of that paperwork your supervisor was talking about earlier. Between wondering when you’re going to eat and talking to the other student clinicians about how their treatment sessions went, you somehow manage to get most of your paperwork done! You’ve got your lesson plan for next week all done and you feel confident that you can be a real SLP. After fighting with the printers you get it printed out and handed in. You can finally go get some lunch! You leave Passan after what felt like a whole day, but was only the morning, to go back to upper campus and work on everything else for all of your other classes. Monday night rolls around and you are exhausted, who knew practicing to be a real SLP for only a half hour could be so tiring! You lay in bed and think about how awesome your treatment session is going to be the next week.
Tuesday: You get up early again on Tuesday to make sure you get a good breakfast in before your long class. You go to research methods to learn all about the research that’s done in your field and how you will even be doing some research (if you aren’t helping a professor already). After sitting through that class, you again find some time to get some lunch. Then it’s time to do some research methods notes or start on the paper that’s due in a few weeks. You also have to coordinate with your group about when you’re going to find time to work on your project together. That afternoon you either attend one of you gen. ed. classes, work, or catch up on your clinic paperwork that you didn’t finish from the day before, or you do all three. Tuesday isn’t necessarily your busy day, but it’s the day you use to catch up on things or get ahead.
Wednesday: Wednesday is another day you use to catch up or get ahead. Yea I know you’re thinking, “what another day with one class?”, but trust me you need this day to do all of your work. If you don’t have a job, practice, or gen. ed. classes you will use all day to do homework assignments, write papers, do more clinic paperwork, or study. Wednesday night you have your TED method life skills class. You need this class to get your teacher certification so you can be an SLP in the schools. This class is really helpful in teaching you a lot about the handicapped children you will have as clients. After that night class you muster up the energy to go to the gym, only to come back and do more notes from your TED class and finally go to bed.
Thursday: You’ve got adult communication disorders this morning for two and a half hours. You love this class, but it’s a tough one, who knew the brain could have so many parts! After this class you go to lunch and after lunch you go back and do review questions, read the book, and do notes/flashcards. You may have to fit in your job, your gen. ed. class, or heading back down to Passan to work on clinic paperwork. Yes more clinic paperwork. The paperwork you handed in earlier in the week has been given back, with corrections on it, that you need to fix and print back out and hand in again. You make time for this and figure out when you’re going to get it all done, you always get everything done. Thursday night you have American Sign Language. Most SLP majors take this class because it is extremely relevant to the field. Throughout the week you’ve been practicing your signing, at the gym, in the shower, at work because you have a quiz tonight on the major vocabulary words. It’s alright you’ll ace it because you’ve been practicing all week.
Friday: You don’t have any speech classes today, but you may have your gen. ed., work or practice (just like you had to do all throughout the week). You run around town also trying to get stuff for your session on Monday, if you need to. You go back to Passan to make sure everything is finalized for Monday. You might need to look over the test that you’re giving for your re-evaluation or make sure the articulation cards you’re going to be using have the words on it you need for your activity.
Saturday: You find some time to relax, to not do notes, paperwork, homework, or study, but probably only for a little while. All the while, being excited for the next week to do it all over again.
Some people may think this is a busy week and others may not. Either way it’s a crazy week with a lot to do! This is the week of a typical undergrad with one client, just wait until you’re in grad school and have all of your classes plus 8-10 clients on your caseload!