As I enter this last semester of the MSW program, I reflect on my journey and realize how grateful I am to be a student at the UNC SSW. I think about my initial steps in figuring out what program I was going to pursue, choosing between School Counseling or Social Work. Ultimately, I chose social work because of the versatility of the field. I think about how I was scared to begin the application process and wasn’t supposed to be admitted into such an elite program because I didn’t necessarily do my best in undergrad. I think of the day I was admitted and how excited I was because I now had a plan for the next two years. My thoughts then led me to “how am I going to be more successful this time around without having a repeat of my undergraduate career?” I found support from my new friends in the cohort and the professors in the school of social work. I made it through my first semester and finally got the confidence I needed to know I was able to succeed. I finished my first year and I couldn’t have been happier, because I had conquered my first year of graduate school and I was proud of that.
As I began my second year, I was excited that this was the last year and the beginning to the end of this chapter entitled Graduate School. I talk to my parents often, who are my biggest supporters, and they repeatedly told me not to slack up in my final year. I already knew I wasn’t going to do that because “I just can’t give up now, I’ve come to far from where I started from.” Already this year, I have experienced more outside learning from my classmates through discussions about Ferguson, conversations that are uncomfortable, but need to be had. So as I begin this final semester, I reflect, but I also look forward. May 9th is coming soon and I as I end this chapter, I have to go ahead and begin writing the next one. I’m currently looking at job postings, tweaking my résumé, and scheduling appointments with career services to ensure I’m presenting the best me I can be. Although bittersweet, I’m excited about the ending of this chapter and elated to begin writing the new one.