After a life changing experience in India with the School of Social Work, I felt rejuvenated, determined and motivated to start back for the spring semester 2011. I realized I am officially halfway through the UNC School of Social Work program, which means I’m halfway to getting those 3 little words behind my name, halfway to starting my career, halfway to a new and exciting time of my life. Then it hit me, it’s also time to make a bunch of decisions! Poof, rejuvenation and peacefulness gone! The beginning of this semester encouraged me (forced me) to look further ahead than I really felt comfortable doing without having an anxiety attack. Pick my summer classes – if I must. Decide on my field placement – it feels too soon. Pick my classes for next year – not quite ready, have to decide on my field placement first. Explain my career goals and decide what I want to do for the rest of my life – I don’t want to! Ok, now I’m being dramatic. But you get the point, that’s how it all felt. One decision lead to the next and so on. This little planner was overwhelmed with all the planning. What happened to the care free days of having my classes predetermined, having plenty of time to explore my interests, being a student with a concrete plan? All of a sudden I felt more than halfway done and seemed to have no idea where I was heading!
Although life felt very overwhelming, I have somehow sorted through all of these thoughts and logistical details to alter my anxiety into a form of excitement. I chose my summer course – done. I decided on a placement that excites me – done. I picked my classes for next year based on what will guide me through my placement and give me some great general knowledge too – done. Figured out the rest of my life – I think I will always be halfway there, and that’s an exciting and freeing place to be.
If you’re anything like me, you are trying your best to enjoy this process. Inevitably we are faced with moments where we lose sight of the excitement behind all the stress. My friend (very thoughtfully) gave me a magnet with the following quote. Try it on for size, see if it works for you.
“Slow down, calm down, don’t worry, don’t hurry, trust the process” – Alexandra Stoddard.