I’m officially one half of an MSW! As finals week come to a close and summer arrives, I have began to reflect on my GSSW experience so far. Although I have learned a lot of facts and details about social work history, theories, policies, and research, this hasn’t been the most important part of my education. I learned the most about myself and about “real” social work through my experiences at my internship. I could probably go on for pages and pages discussing all of the valuable skills that I have developed, but I will stick to the most important…
- I learned the importance of balancing my life and making sure there was enough “me” time in there. I am the kind of person who enjoys having a lot on my plate–when I have any kind of down time, I get bored. However, I learned how important self-care is and that I need to make time to just relax so I don’t get burnt out too quickly.
- The concept of “person-in-environment” was re-enforced daily at my internship. Basically, it is important to understand everything that is going on in your client’s life in order to treat his or her behaviors accordingly. Often times, a behavior has nothing to do with the specific situation, but may have everything to do with an issue the client deals with at home or in school.
- I have also learned how to process my feelings better–at my internship I learned a lot about examining why certain children’s behaviors triggered me in certain ways. This has been an area of personal growth that will make me a better social worker.
Overall, I realize that my thought process has changed over the course of this year–I feel like I am truly starting to “think like a social worker.” Although I have learned a lot, I know I will learn even more during my second year. I am looking forward to next year’s classes as they are much more focused on a subject matter that I am passionate about (high-risk youth) and I can’t wait to start my new internship in the fall!
I wish you all the best of luck and hope you have a fabulous summer!!
Until next year,