I can’t believe the school year has already started! It feels like I just entered the program yesterday (cliché , but so true). I want to talk about embracing new journeys and not forgetting to care for oneself along the way! I am a second year student in the dual degree MSW/MPH program and had my first Public Health courses last week. The experience was so amazing and challenging!
I entered with an open mindset because that is the best way to begin a new journey! Trust me, it is definitely a good thing to plan, but also remain open to other opportunities because you never know how things may turn out! Embracing new journeys also means becoming more self-aware of boundaries, triggers, and recognizing when you have taken on too many responsibilities. It is okay to say no. Everyone has their limits and NEVER feel bad for honoring yourself and your thresholds. If you don’t take care of yourself, you cannot effectively advocate for others.
Some recommendations and words of wisdom that helped me through my first year in the program:
- Set aside at least 15-20 minutes per day after classes/field in which you can sit alone and process the day. Alone time is essential for recharging!
- Try to find a hobby unrelated to school and schedule that time weekly (weekends usually work really well).
- Make friends! The friends I’ve made in my cohort are amazing. I am so thankful for their continuous support! We come from different backgrounds but share the experience of being in the program. Don’t underestimate the power of these bonds!
- Be kind to yourself and others! Adjusting to the program is a process and everyone’s experience is going to be different. I know it is difficult, but try not to compare your experience and journey to the next person’s.
- In conjunction with the last point, embrace your individuality!
Wishing everyone the best of luck and a great year!