I can’t do this anymore. 

I don’t even understand what this paper is saying. 

My brain isn’t working.  

These are the thoughts that kept circulating in my mind.

I was an exhausted mom of 3 children aged 5 and under coming back from a maternity leave, and I really didn’t know how I would ever finish up my master's program.

I wasn’t even halfway through! I made an appointment. I would leave the program. Six courses was too many left to finish, let alone an entire practicum? It seemed too daunting of a task. There was just no way; not with the way my brain worked now. Something changed; maybe it was the hormones? It didn’t matter, I just wasn’t going to bother with it anymore.  

I consulted with my family and spoke to some friends and told them of my plans. I chatted with some peers I had met in the program that had just finished. Their consensus was, “Quitting is not an option.”. They knew what I was capable of even when I doubted myself. I also started to doubt the decision that I was so confident about, after all, I was a firm believer in finishing what I started. I spoke to the advisor and concluded that maybe another term off would solve the problem and give me time to think? It did. Clarity returned to my mind.  

My peers encouraged me, told me to just take it one assignment at a time, one course at a time, one term at a time. That made all the difference for me.

I learned that it was all about celebrating the small milestones; one module at a time.

Just like that, 6 courses were done and I was into my practicum. And as a mother of 3 kids 8 and under, I now had two Masters’ degrees under my belt! Sometimes we can overwhelm ourselves with the mountain ahead of us, when really we should just focus on each individual step we are taking to get to the top. I am so incredibly grateful that I had that time off to think and restore and realize that this is something I wanted and that it was worth the struggle. The transition back into taking courses was not easy, but it was not impossible, and a new norm came out of it. 


- Master of Health Evaluation Student  


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