Well, writing 30 page papers every week was no picnic. The dissertation was a chore. The EPPP was very challenging. In Michigan, you cannot call yourself a Psychologist unless you have a doctorate.
I would say the biggest struggle was finding a job that would pay me enough to make it as a single woman. Where I live, jobs with benefits and a salary are rare. My student loan payments are $800/ month.... gulp!
I’ve made it, however and I love my work. I’m a good therapist. I cannot imagine doing anything else.
Thanks for your interesting question. It brought back a lot of memories of my graduate school days, which were many years ago. For me having to do a master's thesis and doctoral dissertation were the hardest parts of the process. In my case they both involved data collection and analysis, which were a huge pain. Somebody once said that research is two percent inspiration and 98 percent perspiration, which certainly was my experience.
I also had to pass a standardized exam to be licensed as a psychologist, which I believe is now the case in all 50 states. However when I took it in 1974 the cutoff score for passing was much lower than it is today, so I didn't have to work very hard to prepare. Also there were no preparation workshops, which can be very expensive.
My biggest continuing frustration through my 35 years in private practice ( I am now mostly retired) was the declining reimbursement rates for psychotherapy and evaluation, which continues to this day. Despite all that I love my work and have never regretted my career choice.
If you are interested in a career in psychology don't let these things deter you. I wish you the best in your search.