I can only speak from my experience as a Distance-Ed student, but entering the second year of the program has definitely challenged me in terms of performing well in all of my life obligations. Let’s see, I’ve got class on Friday, field placement two days a week, and my job four days a week. Did I also mention I’m getting married next September? Eeeek!
I have a lot on my plate and, while I am in new territory this semester, getting it all done is not impossible. Things are more challenging because, for one, I have to be so deliberate about how I spend my time these days. Not that I’ve mastered it, mind you. I have nights where I’m “reading” while 30 Rock happens to be on. I make plans to go out to dinner now and do my work later only to fall asleep within moments of getting home. We’ve all been there. However, despite all of that– the work, finding balance, wanting to give 100%– I am excited about the learning opportunities that I’ve had and meeting the challenges before me. The classroom + field work + real life equation forces me to apply what I learn in one area to the others. My boss has commented on how I seem to be applying my handy new social work skills with my study patients and it’s made me more effective in my work with them. I made handouts for clients at my field placement based on literature at my job (I work in ADHD research). I’ve been able to apply my psychiatry background in the classroom to add to discussions. Although it seems impossible sometimes, I am motivated to strive for balance because I think that it makes me a better student and contributor in all areas.
When I find a way to apply my social work skills to the world of bridal gowns and floral arrangements, I will certainly let you all know.