For me, this has been a year of getting comfortable with the uncomfortable, a year of vulnerability, and a year of change that I did not willingly accept. While working in palliative care, supporting others who are dealing with loss and grief, exposing their vulnerabilities and “losing control”, I too was grieving, losing, being vulnerable, experiencing a loss of control.  I had to grieve the loss of the person I knew unexpectedly and I was not ready to let go.  Instead of embracing what would emerge from this growth, I found myself kicking and screaming and learned that resistance did not make it easier. I can see more clearly now and I’m better for it in every area of my life.
Surely, graduate school is just one of the many balancing acts of our lives.  There will be many more and we will be prepared in different ways each time.  We are so much more than just students and professionals.  We will continue to balance our lives the best way we know how with the information we have and we will continue to support our family/friends/patients/clients/consumers, as they attempt to do the same.

Life changes, it is the nature of our existence, and I am not so certain that I will ever truly get comfortable with this.  It catches me by surprise every time. Transitions are hard, they are scary, and they can be exciting if we let them; however you look at it, transitions are inevitable.  However, this graduate school experience has helped me trust my life more than I have in the past.  Having the ability to look back on what was, reflect on the choices we make (scary as they may have been) and trust that it all works out for the best will hopefully continue to instill this ability to step out of my comfort zone, trust life’s challenges as opportunities for growth, not get to comfortable and accept change.
Let us not forget this humbling, multi-faceted experience so simply referred to as “grad school.”.


About Sarah Smith

Greetings! My name is Sarah Smith and I am in my second year of the Mountain Area Distance Education program through the UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work. I have the pleasure of living in Asheville while participating in the program and take full advantage of the beautiful mountains and unique community. During my first year, I continued my work as the Outreach Coordinator of the YMCA of Western North Carolina working with low income children and their families within the Asheville community. For my second year, I am inspired to begin my field placement for CarePartners Hospice in Asheville. I hope to continue in Direct Practice with Families and Children. Although my love for Asheville is genuine, I was born and raised in Ohio! You can find me at, or your local coffee house. Cheers.
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