Transition Time: TX to NC

I feel like I should stop for a moment and take a nice, deep breath!  I just finished week two of my first year in the full-time MSW program, but before I got started, I had some huge, wonderful life changes!  Between July 27th and August 19th, I drove from Texas to North Carolina with my fiance, dog, and a big u-haul trailer, dropped off everything at our apartment in Chapel Hill, drove to Florida, got married, flew to Maui for our honey moon, flew back, unpacked, started grad school, and survived it all!

It’s wonderful being back in North Carolina after being gone for an entire year.  I missed the trees, sweet tea, and Bojangles.  I went to undergrad at Wingate University, so I’m a new Tar Heel, but I’m loving it so far.  Carolina Blue is starting to grow on me!

The School of Social Work has been amazing.  I was surprised the first week to find everyone in my cohort very friendly and outgoing.  It wasn’t like high school or undergrad–we know we’re all working together to help create positive change.  As the school year got started, I was worried about sitting through three hour classes, but I’ve been impressed by all of the discussion and activities.  Professors really seem to want students to be engaged and active.

Starting field placement has been amazing as well.  I’m placed at the Hispanic Family Center through Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Raleigh.  I was able to work with clients my first day, and the staff has been encouraging and supportive. I’ve already been to the Raleigh Housing Authority, the Girls Club, the Department of Social Services, and on a home visit.  I feel like I’m making real contributions to the organization, and I’ve only been there for two weeks!

I’m definitely enjoying my time in Chapel Hill.  I’ve been able to go out to listen to music every weekend.  My husband, dog, and I are loving the weather.  It’s been sunny and 70 degrees (instead of 100 degrees in Austin!).  I always felt as though there was purpose in every choice and step I’ve taken. I already know that this is the exact place I’m supposed to be at this time in my life, and I’m thankful to be here!


About Kim Swanson

Hello! I'm Kim. I'm a first year, full-time student at the School of Social Work, and I'm loving it! Classes are small, professors are very approachable, and my classmates have been super friendly. I just moved back to North Carolina from Texas after a year working as a family case manager at a shelter for immigrants through AmeriCorps. Being back in NC is great (I'm sipping Cheerwine as I type!), but being in Austin opened my eyes to the struggles of immigrant families. I learned how necessary community organizing and education are in order to ensure positive experiences for both U.S. born individuals and our new community members and am excited to be placed at the Centro para Familias Hispanas in Raleigh for my field experience. Please let me know if you have any questions. I'm more than happy to help out!
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