Life in North Carolina doesn’t look a lot like I expected it to as I moved here last year. In countless ways my expectations were blown out of the water. I have met such incredible people who I have learned so much from. The classrooms at UNC SSW are full of those with unmatchable intelligence, compassion, and drive. Not only have I learned an astonishing amount about social work practice, but I have also learned a great deal about myself and others.
During my first semester at UNC, I thought that I had made a mistake coming to UNC. I was so overwhelmed with all the demands of being an out-of-state graduate student. I had incredible doubts about my graduate career. However, as I made it out of the month of November, I achieved what I thought I could not do. I finished my first semester at a top graduate school in a field I have been dreaming about being a part of.
As spring semester came into sight, my classmates and I were ready to tackle it and boy did we! We were a stunningly less anxious class who had faith in themselves. Learning was more of a joy. We were able to come together and be real and honest about our desires and concerns. I could not have dreamed of a better environment. I found myself being open to my classmates, who had become a close family away from home. As our last semester came to an end, I found myself with thoughts of actually missing classes.
As I got ready to start my summer, I was in a terrible car accident. I suffered many injuries including traumatic brain injury. I spent 37 days at WakeMed (or my second home 😉 ) and almost every single day there, I had a great friend or faculty member from UNC SSW at my side. I even woke up from a coma with SoWoSo’s there! When I found out how my friends and classmates showed up and stayed in the hospital overnight so I wouldn’t be alone as my parents flew into town, cooked meals for my family, and stayed by my side not knowing what would happen, I was completely overwhelmed. Not only are the students at UNC SSW brilliant and motivated, they are caring individuals with enormous hearts.
So as I was saying, North Carolina life has been surprising challenging, but definitely worth it and leaves me with no regrets. I hope and pray that students who get to live the SSW life take advantage of all it has to offer.