Gravity Well

It’s happening . . . I knew it would, I just didn’t expect it to hit quite yet. Perhaps over Christmas, maybe not even until next semester. But’s no – it’s here and it’s not likely to go away. It’s that feeling of increasing momentum. The motion starts slowly enough but then gains speed until it draws you in and you are caught up and propelled by the force.

In case you’re wondering, I’m talking about the momentum of our final year of the MSW program: our final field placement, our final selection of classes, the consideration of possible job offers, and the fast approaching month of May with the word “GRADUATION” marked in big bold letters on our calendars. It all seems to be moving ahead at a faster and faster pace.

I feel like a kid at the mall who threw her penny into the gravity well and I’m happily watching it go round and round and round, faster and faster, closer and closer to the drop. It’s stirring, it’s exciting, and then, in an instant it’s gone. It can make you a little dizzy if you watch too closely. Maybe I’m one of those watching too closely . . . . Maybe I just don’t want to miss anything . . . . Maybe both.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as excited as the next student to see graduation day, I am just aware of this passing of time and the mixed emotions it brings. I cherish the closeness of our cohort. I’m addicted to the library. I’m inspired by the knowledge quest that’s contagious in class and sense its absence in the work-a-day-world. The job market seems to be improving. I’m seeing many graduates from our hallowed halls out in the field getting promoted, making a difference. That’s definitely exciting. I’m even beginning to determine my own plan of attack to prepare for the LCSW and LCAS exams so I can hit the pavement running. I believe that’s “Ugh!” and “Yeah!” all rolled into one . . . “Sigh”.

Before I know it the coin will drop, this time will have passed, and the focus will be changed. So, here I sit, dizzy and all. I’m grateful to be this aware of the transience of our final days. I can accept being both anxious and excited about what lies ahead, knowing it’s all an important part of achieving our goals and stepping up to answer the call we each hear in our hearts. Helen Keller put it best when she said, “It is for us to pray not for tasks equal to our powers, but for powers equal to our tasks, to go forward with a great desire forever beating at the door of our hearts as we travel toward our distant goal.”

Carpe diem!

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About Marguerite Keil

Ancora Imparo! To sweet endings, new beginnings and live long learning! I have now finished my third and final year of the UNC-MSW program and it has exceeded my expectations! I completed the first two years through the Winston Salem Distance Education program that was phenomenal and have now just finished an equally great year here on campus. Certainly I leave the program with more knowledge, but more importantly, I leave with more personal insight and a clearer sense of myself. But this is not the end - only a new beginning. In a few weeks I embark on a new career - not the one I envisioned with the full-time employer I had when I first enrolled. Instead, these years of academic training and field work have blazed a new path and opened new doors of opportunity. They have brought new people and a new scope of practice into my life. I owe a good part of this to the certificate program (Substance Abuse Certificate in my case), which is why I want to encourage others to pursue some certification or licensure along with their MSW. Yes, it does mean more work, but in the end I am quite sure you will be glad you did. And the experiences you share with those pursuing the same path will make your time at Carolina that much sweeter and memorable. Blessings! ~mk
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