by Holly Cascianiholly.case@mac.com
Originally posted March 8, 2010

Before I began my grad school career here, I heard a number of current students and alumni say it’s really about what you make of your experience here at the school, and I’ve found there really is no better way of putting into words what my experience here has been like. The Foundation Semester taught me a lot about my strengths, my boundaries, my passions, my weaknesses, and ultimately, myself. There were times that my relationships with my friends, family, and fiancé was strained due to a lack of available time to spend with one another, but it absolutely made us stronger and more grateful for those moments together.

I have found there is this incredible bond within the college (not just between the students, but with the prestigious faculty as well) that has absolutely made this a wonderful experience thus far. I don’t know exactly how to put it, but when you’re placed in a room with 25 other people who share very similar values and beliefs as you about helping others, you can’t help but connect with them. Life happens to each of us, and as we learn more about empathy and serving one another, a bond naturally occurs.

My best advice after just one semester into this program would be to really think about what you want out of this experience. If you’re looking for a few letters to follow your last name, or a way to just get an MSW and move on to licensure, there is nothing wrong with that. But keep your mind, heart, and passions open… because there is a good chance something may click within you that causes you to want to do more. It’s very hard to not connect with others in this program, through its rigor and moments of sharing personal stories, that I believe the real personal growth and education occurs as doors of opportunity open to step out of comfort zones. From a student standpoint, this program is designed to help you help others, but ultimately, I have found that it does so much more.

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