Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Words of Wisdom for New Social Work Graduate Students

 The excitement is building as a new academic year begins and thousands of students are embarking on a social work graduate degree. As I scroll through my facebook newsfeed, I see photos of MSW program orientations, showing groups of men and women who, over the next year or two, will be transformed into new social work professionals.

I am reminded of my own MSW graduate school experience. It was an exciting time of learning and growth, anticipation and--sometimes--fear!  My very wise field instructor said to me, "If you already knew everything, why would you need to get a master's degree to do this?"  In other words, be "okay" with not knowing and with the learning process as it unfolds. Any time something difficult came up (which was maybe a daily occurrence), my co-interns and I laughed and called it a "learning experience," which it definitely was! Letting ourselves learn the hard lessons was not always easy, but it was always worth it.

To all new and continuing social work students, I wish for you the BEST (if not the "easiest") learning experience ever.  Be open to unexpected opportunities and experiences that will expand your ability to be the best social worker you can be.

I would love to hear other "words of wisdom" for this year's new social work students. Your comments are welcome!

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