Posts Tagged ‘begin’

I realized the other day that as people, we all have different organizational styles. Some people develop systems for organizing nearly every object and bit of information they possess. Some don’t really have a certain system that they pay close attention to, but they do what seems to come naturally. It’s not that they don’t have some type of logic, but it’s not an endeavor that they put much time, thought, or energy into.

I fall somewhere in the middle of these two groups. I generally know where all of my things are, and some items I’m very meticulous about. Some people who see my space would tell me that it’s a bit chaotic. Lately, I’ve been more inclined to agree. It’s not that I’ve become more disorganized. I feel more organized than I was a few months ago. I’m seeing areas in my life and things that I have that I want to organize and improve. It’s not enough to be simply tidy. Now I want things in order.

That goes for my thoughts and keeping track of my time, also. I’ve never made this many to-do lists or left myself so many notes. I’ve got a good memory, but if it’s pretty important, I write a note anyway. I even caught myself thinking about color coding my new datebook with a plethora of highlighter colors today as I was driving home. It’s not merely something in me that’s changing—I’m changing because my life is changing. Reorganizing is my form of adaptation. It makes overpriced binders and pens worthwhile—even exciting—to find and purchase.

I didn’t want to admit that I needed to change my ways. Organized chaos is adequate if I’m not concerned about the consequences of forgetting or misplacing something. I’m just realizing that I have a lot of precious things to give my time and attention to. I can’t do that if I’m busy looking for a “whatchamacallit”.

Today in my field orientation, the presenter made a really good point. For a competency in our field education learning plans, one of the practice behaviors was to “reflect upon the meaning of change in [social work students'] lives and the lives of their clients”. She said that we’re all entering this advanced standing MSW program and even though it is a wanted change, we are still going through a lot of processing right now. I appreciated this comment. I’ve been wondering lately if I’m just being forgetful or worrying too much. I may indeed be worrying too much, but it’s not an arbitrary mood swing. I recognize that this semester, seven weeks of very condensed class material, is already challenging and it is going to be even more challenging in the coming weeks. I recognize that life as I know it is changing constantly. I’m learning a large amount of material in a short amount of time. In January, the first month of my final semester in school, I’m supposed to begin looking for an MSW job. This is almost inconceivable to me because I’m just starting. In five months I’ll be presenting myself as an employable MSW? In ten months I’m going to start working full time as an MSW? There are many things to consider, including licensing exams and qualifications. In five months, I need to determine what geographic area I want to live and work in. Right now, I know I want to work with children and families. That’s just about it. The other ideas in my head really aren’t formulated yet.
If the above paragraph sounds overwhelming, hold on. Read a certain way, that paragraph is very overwhelming. However, I know it’s going to be ok. The changes I am making in my routine will become the routine itself before long. I’ll be accustomed to an adjusted social life, sleep patterns that promote the “graduate student” lifestyle, and to spending hours each day reading and writing. Everything really is ok right now, including the feelings of sheer grandness.
The best way I can describe this feeling is comparing myself to a new sailboat. I’m at the edge of the harbor looking out over the horizon, and all I can see is ocean. I can’t turn back now because I have been made to sail this ocean. I’ve been designed to move over the waters. I’m built to win. Everything I need to move forward at this time, I’ve been equipped with, and there will be plenty of places to get what I need along the way. There is always hope for me. There is a beautiful ocean stretched out right in front of me. I can be troubled and ignore all of the provision and hope, or I can be grateful and brave and accept this awesome journey.
This change is good. I’m going sailing!

This is the day I’ve been waiting for. This is the day I start an Advanced Standing Master of Social Work program through Michigan State University. The classes, with the exception of some of the electives I’ve signed up for, are on the campus of Oakland University. For me, classes at OU were a natural and really convenient fit. I graduated in April with a Bachelor of Social Work and needed a program that would allow me to be near my family and keep up with my current part-time job. Oakland University and Michigan State created a social work relationship: Michigan State helped Oakland navigate the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) process for their BSW program and Michigan State began hosting an MSW program at OU. I’m still trying to decide if I’m a hybrid between an Oakland Golden Grizzly and a Michigan State Spartan or if I’m fully Spartan. Either way, I find myself drawn to my alma mater. For another year, its beautiful campus is still my home away from home.

So here I am, deciding which books and supplies to pack for the day, what time I should arrive on campus, what I should wear, and some more important questions. How different will my classes be from my senior year of undergrad? Will these bridge classes help to acclimate me to more detailed and intensive social work classes? How much networking and teamwork will I be able to do? My questions are stacking up, but I’m sure it’s going to be alright. I’ve pretty much always loved school, and I love social work. As challenging as this will be, it’ll be fun too.

Today is also the beginning of something else new. Today I begin this blog. I hope to maintain it during my schooling and as I develop as a professional. I hope that by sharing my experience, I can network with other social work students and other social workers. I hope that I can help others and receive some advice myself. Furthermore, I hope to create a place, through this website, that social workers and social work students can connect and grow together. This project is very special for me because it combines the things I love—writing, community, and social work—into a fun, practical website.

So here I go—a brand new MSW student and a brand new blogger. It’s a good day!