The Summer Before You Begin Your MSW

At Welcome Day for new students a few weeks ago, I had a few entering students ask me what they should do over the summer to prepare for the program. Here are some scattered thoughts on what might be helpful as you prepare to start classes in the fall.

1) Read for fun–magazines, blogs, books, cereal boxes. If you’ve been out of school for a while, this will get you into the practice of reading regularly, which will come in handy when you get your syllabi in August and have regularly assigned readings for school.

2) Update your resume–you probably updated it recently to apply to the program, but update it again. Make sure that when you need to have a copy handy, it’s current and reflects your address if you moved, graduation dates or end-of-employment dates that might have happened after you applied to school, etc.

3) Meet your classmates–these days it seems that cohorts quickly form Facebook groups. Try looking for “UNC MSW Class of” whatever year you’ll be. This gives you a chance to start communicating with the people you will be around a lot during the next couple of years. 

4) Rest, relax, repeat–take advantage of any days you might have to sleep late, or go to bed early, or waste time watching Netflix. You want to start the semester as well-rested as possible. 

5) Get excited–You’re about to have a lot of new experiences, in field work and in school, and meet some amazing people.

Best of luck to all incoming students!


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